Is it okay to tell kids they are smart? Or, should we only compliment them on things like work ethic and creativity?

I think that we should tell students that they’re smart, compliment their work ethic, AND encourage creativity. When some people say that a student is “smart”, they’re genuinely trying to compliment the student when other times, they’re just saying it to say it. We should encourage a strong work ethic, because if a student is struggling, they should be working hard to understand the concept of the standards they’re learning, as to where some of the smarter kids don’t have to work as hard. We should encourage creativity because creativity is a whole other category of truly seeing how smart a student is. By telling a student they’re smart, complimenting students work ethic, and encouraging creativity, you’re boosting the students self-esteem, which some people truly need. – Alia

I think we should complement kids that we are “smart” and for their work ethic and creativity. This is because especially in our school people around the school tells us basically that we are not smart and we never feel as if we do not do good enough for them no matter how hard we try. It brings my self esteem down and makes me feel like no matter how hard I try. I feel as if we should complement students for all good they do and to show them how we appreciate them because if we don’t then they feel as if they shouldn’t even strive for greatness. -Allena

The argument that we should not tell children that they are smart is ridiculous. Why should we degraded a child’s intelligence just to make another kid feel better? Taking away the label smart would not boost the confidence of children but simply diminish it. Creativity and work ethic are not even remotely the same thing as intelligence. By saying that you have a good work ethic or that you are creative but not smart you are essentially saying that those things are mutually exclusive when they can actually go together. -Audrey

I think that we should tell students that understand the topics, get good grade, and are good students that they are “smart” but if students are falling behind, don’t get the best scores, but are a good students that we shouldn’t call them “not-smart.” There is a fine line between what we call a “smart” student and a “not-smart” student. Yes we should compliment their work, and encourage them to do better but telling them that they aren’t smart either explicitly or implicitly isn’t the way to go. Teachers can help the students that are falling behind and aren’t doing the best but we shouldn’t classify or label them because of them not understanding a certain topic. A student may not understand a subject like fractions, do bad on the test, and their grade go down and then they get called “not-smart” because of it. Teachers should be encouraging students, rather than dragging them down and putting labels on students.- Campbell

No, we should not tell children that they are ¨smart¨ or ¨intelligent¨ because this can create a superiority complex among that child and another child. -Colin

I don’t really think we should compliment their work ethic or creativity of students because if they work hard they may not be learning or getting to know the content and telling students that their doing a good job of working hard may just tell the student that its okay to not know but all it matters is to try which its really not since you can try all you want and still fail. -David

Complimenting their work ethic or creativity will only get them so far. Not all jobs accept people who work hard or creativity. I say, we compliment a little bit of both because this will help them feel smart and creative. These two things go hand-to-hand in careers and will help the child’s self esteem and work ethic. So, if we compliment them on both work ethic, creative, and smartness. -Eli

Personally, I believe that telling children they’re smart is a confidence booster and is not a bad thing. Although, in certain situations, I don’t think it’s appropriate. For example, in a classroom, I don’t think it’s ok to tell one student their smart and not the others. It simply makes the other students feel less than. But, I don’t believe that telling a student they are smart or naturally gifted is a horrid or awful thing that we should avoid. In conclusion, I believe telling children they are smart is an awful thing except for certain situations.- Ella

I agree with this statement because nobody is actually smarter than the next. Honestly, everyone just has a different way that their mind works. Different people have different amounts of creativity, strategy, and more. You can work really hard and get the answers wrong. It really doesn’t matter because we all have human brains.-Emmy

I think that we should tell them that they are smart but also we should also compliment their other good traits. But we should also only call them these things in a positive connotation. -Jack

We should not tell children they are “smart” because they and other children will take it to heart. imagine your teacher or parent telling another sibling or student the they are “smart” , but not you. the problem of the idea of intelligence is that it’s rooted in one central scale or system. every person is different, therefore intelligence is not measured by a central scale, but by a differentiating mess of individualized scales. so why do we compliment children on one standardized scale of intelligence? We could be complimenting them individually on their own work ethic, creativity, and effort. -Jake

I think it is okay for certain people to tell children they are smart. I think if parents or family member are complimenting children it is okay and will build their self-esteem. However if teachers compliment some children on this but not others, they may get offended and then not try on what they do in class. -Jaleia

I agree because many compliments that call someone “smart” are backhanded and condescending, however, I think that complimenting a child on their intelligence is justified. Moreover, I don’t think that teachers should compliment kids on being smart because its rude for them to say around other students because it creates a “the smart kid” mindset in the other kids. Also, it could undermine the success of another students by making them feel like the teacher has low expectations for them.- Katie

I think that we can tell children they’re smart, but we should still compliment on what they’re doing well. I also think that if there’s a kid who’s not smart, you shouldn’t tell them that, instead you should compliment them. I think that we should implement both instead of one or the other. -Khloe

I think that being smart in based on work ethic and by saying someone is smart you are complimenting their work ethic. but then again a lot of people use the word smart as another way to say know it all. This is a es and no answer depending on how the word is used it can be meant as a compliment or it can be meant as an insult.-Kylee

I believe it depends on the kid. For instance, I am what people would call “smart” and I have creativity to my work, but I don’t work hard to get 100%s on my test. To me, getting called smart is a regular thing, but to other people, it serves as a compliment and I don’t believe we should take that away from them. I believe that we should just use both. It took me time to get as this and I worked hard to do so. I have a little bit of a work ethic and I think that’s good but I don’t always have a good one, so I think you should be allowed to call people smart and compliment their work ethic. -Lucy


I feel like we should compliment kids on their work ethic and creativity, because I personally see that more of compliment than being called smart. I rather have a good work ethic and be complimented on that, instead of being smart because I feel the constant urge to work very hard when hearing that, which I feel is important. Having a good work ethic can get you way farther in life than smartness can, because people want to hire someone with a good work ethic. -Makiya

I think that we should compliment people on on a little bit of both. This is because some people could have an incredible work ethic but they are not that smart. In this situation we should compliment them on how hard they work. Also, someone may be extremely smart but they barely work hard. In this, we should compliment them on their intelligence. -Margaret

I think that we should tell children that they are both smart and their work ethic is good. If we do not tell the kid that they are smart then they are let down about their intelligence. -Preston

I think that when we tell our kids that they are smart we set them up for social failure. I have one friend who was constantly bragging about how “smart” she was, because her mother was constantly reaffirming her and telling her how “smart” she was. Since I was homeschooled for a vast majority or my life, I never realized exactly how ahead of my peers I was. In fact, sometimes I was kept purposefully unaware of how ahead I was. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t compliment students for scoring high or working hard, but we can’t let it go to their heads. That’s one of the issues with gifted education, students begin to think that they are so special, but that’s not the problem. The problem is when students begin to brag about it to other students. -Rebecca

I believe that we should tell children that they are smart. A lot of gifted children feel left out in the classroom and by saying that they are not smart and that they just worked hard to get where they are just gives them low self-esteem. And children who get bad grades get compliments all the time that they are working hard. It’s not fair that children who don’t work hard and still get a good grade then the teachers just say “there is no such thing as being smart, you get there by working hard.” That just is telling children that they are not smart. But children who work hard to get grades, they do deserve half of the compliments, not all of them, which is how it works at our school. But then people call gifted or advanced children that they are smart but use in a hateful tone. For example, “of course the smart kids are raising their hands.” -Sam

I think it is better to compliment work ethic and creativity because there are only so many people seen as smart, so complimenting the other aspects is better. Sometimes when people say someone is smart, they don’t really mean it. Most of the time it is more of a label type of thing. Like the “smart kids” and sayings like “stop being too smart.” Not everyone is labeled smart but I feel what really counts is the work ethic and creativity. -Sawyier

I think that complimenting about work ethic and creativity is better than saying that kids/students are smart because hard work ethic can lead to being smart by hard work. -Vance

You should tell kids that they are smart, if the actually are. It’s the same thing as complimenting someone’s work ethic, they worked to get where they are and they should feel good about their achievements. You never tell a great artist that they aren’t a good artist, you praise them for their hard work. Sure the term smart can be used in a derogatory way but so can most other words. -Will

If our school had unlimited resources, how would you spend them?

I would hire new teachers and get better learning programs. Now, a lot of the teachers are not very good at teaching. I would try and hire new teachers that aren’t very good. Then, I would get rid of a lot of the online learning programs that students do not like and find better, and newer ones that students approve of and like. This will make students want to come to school and like what they are doing. -Eli

One improvement I would make is the opportunities. As a school, I think we should strive to provide students with eyeopening experiences that they would not be provided with otherwise. I believe that we should create extensions that will help us in later life. For example, a Home ec class would provide students with essential needs in life. Although students in our building do probably not have the behavior to qualify for these classes, I think it would still be a great opportunity. We could also go on more educational field trips. Through these field trips, we could open students up to new experiences they wouldn’t be granted otherwise. In conclusion, if I had unlimited resources I would provide the students of our school with. more resources. -Ella

I would add a selection of classes that vary based on academic ability. Instead of forcing kids of all academic abilities to learn in the same way I would offer classes that fit students to their specific way of learning. Advanced classes would be the first step in creating different classes. By creating advanced classes, students who struggle would get more attention in their regular classroom because there would no longer be students who finish things quickly and need the teacher to tell them what to do next. After the advanced classes were underway, I would bring in lower level classes in order to give an extra dose of help to those struggling. I would also create an attitude that the bare minimum is not okay that we need to challenge ourselves.- Audrey

An improvement to our school that I would make would be to have more advanced classes like ATLAS but for other subjects like math or science. I would also move the time of the school day to be from 8:00-3:05 like the high school. -Jack

One improvement that I would make at Second Street School would be to improve sanitation. Our school is very dirty and we constantly have bats and birds flying in our building. The prompt said that we could have unlimited resources so I would spend as much money as possible to clean our school and get rid of all pests. Another improvement would be to revamp our classrooms. For example, my science class has horrible flooring and tables. I would like to get that fixed. I would also get rid of all automatic toilets because they are a waste of money and electricity. In the event of a school shooting, if an automatic toilet went off, then the shooter would know exactly where that person was and then they would kill them. And finally, I would make Second Street to where it has a normal schedule. My classes are an hour to two hours long. I believe that that is ridiculous and we get too much time in one class. Also, several teachers do not know how to fill up that much time. But for some teachers, that much time is good. My science teacher likes to spend over half an hour on just our bell ringer. And then blames us for why we can’t get things done because we “talk too much!” Well, anyway our school needs a lot of improvements. -Sam

One improvement I would make in general is the building. Second Street is an old school and hasn’t had much renovation. If we were able to rebuild the entire school, that would benefit us all. Our school would be cleaner, steadier and it may bring in more students from other schools. -Jaleia

There are many improvements that I would make to Second Street School if I had unlimited resources. One improvement I would make would be to spray everywhere for bugs, especially roaches. I am so tired of seeing roaches around and on my desk while I am trying to learn math. I should be able to come to school and get an education without having to worry about roaches. -Makiya

One improvement that I would make to the school if I had unlimited resources for our district would be two things, build a separate middle school building and then build an indoor athletics complex on the PAC which would include a pool, tennis courts soccer fields a gym and a running track.- Vance

If I had unlimited resources, I would renovate the entire school. Furthermore, I would renovate the gym and the playground as well. First, I would get new flooring for the gym, new sporting equipment, and new basketball goals. Next, I would but new materials for the classrooms, smart boards, and new books for the library. Finally, I would replace all the playground equipment , resurface the blacktop, and buy new benches. -Katie

There are many improvements that this school could make. One of them is they need to learn how to discipline students better and they need to look into the whole situation. When a kid is “misbehaving” in this class SRT comes into our class and interrogates the student and when they don’t speak or even just tell them what happened they drag them down to the Exact Path Lab. The Exact Path Lab is basically a little closet where they have multiple kids in at a time with one person watching them while they learn almost nothing. Exact Path is not a good platform to learn on and yet they think students will be able to learn what they need to learn through it. Exact Path makes you take a diagnostic test and according to your score it will give you things you need to work on in the subject. This means that is you purposefully answered all the wrong answers you would most likely be doing kindergarten courses and not the courses that you should be doing. The Exact Path Lab is ineffective and the school needs to improve the way they discipline students. -Allena

One thing that I would do to fix Second Street if we had unlimited resources would be to fix our heating system. It´ll just go on and off randomly and it’s sporadic and hard to control, and sometimes it just won´t work at all. – Colin

An improvement I would make to this school if I had unlimited resources is make a new building for middle school. Also make more classrooms since multiple teachers share a room with others to teach their class like the Chinese teachers. I would like to have a bigger cafeteria since were all clumped up in a small space with three or more classes.-David

One improvement I would make is better food in the cafeteria. Half of the time I can’t even eat the food because either it has beef in it (I don’t eat beef) or it doesn’t look edible. Even the salads are gross and it’s salad! I would make sure there is a good option for kids that don’t eat certain things (I also hate yogurt and they serve that as an alternative option). I would make sure lunch is better and the cafeteria would be quieter because people are actually eating the food rather than having disgusting things that don’t even look like food in front of us. I would make the cafeteria better. -Lucy

One improvement I would make to Second Street School if I had unlimited resources would be buy a better site to grade on. Currently, our grading site is terrible, it doesn’t work, and it calculates all of our grades wrong. This isn’t the only thing that I would change either. I would also change the space we have in our school. It’s just not working for our students and staff. I would also change our schedule to something more normal, the same everyday, and go back to a 7 class schedule. Currently, these are my biggest issues with our school, and I would love to fix them if only I actually had unlimited resources. -Khloe

An improvement I would make to Second Street School would to be either get more teachers or subs. There have been days when we have had to split classes because there isn’t a teacher/sub to be there. This causes other teachers to go out of their way and take in an extra amount of kids. It all causes issues but if we had more teachers/subs it wouldn’t be an issue. -Sawyier

One improvement I would make to the school if I had unlimited resources would be to improve how the school looks on the inside and out. If our school looked nicer it would be more appealing to new students and the community. We did have a redo of the offices, new floors, and a new coats of paint but the school could use more than that. Possibly new lockers, fix the walls a little, and make the outside of the school more appealing. This would mean keeping flowers/vegetation in a decent state, fixing up the outside walls, and making sure our parking lot doesn’t look like a mess. By making the school look more appealing, it will allow our community to take pride in having this school nearby and hopefully invite new students and teachers to come to our school. -Campbell

If I could make an improvement to the school I would add vending machines with mint flavored candies to use “student coins” to buy candy before learning something new or taking a test to help students focus. -Emmy

Well although we need many changes and improvements in our school the first thing I would do is update the gym and add locker rooms. sports such as basketball need locker rooms for changing and preparing for a game. Also during the game teams use the rooms to talk over plays and other things. locker rooms and a better gym would be a good choice for our school.- Kylee

Rebecca Vaught

If I could make one improvement to Second Street School, I would probably separate the middle school and the elementary school. It just doesn’t work putting the Kindergartners and the eighth-graders in the same building. Now, this is impractical, and our district does not have the money for it, but if we had an extra couple million dollars lying around, building another school would be a great way to use it. It may not seem like it would do much, but separating the middle-school from the elementary school would be extremely beneficial in the long-run. -Rebecca

If I had unlimited resources, I would make a separate middle school and call it FMS. It would consist of grades 6-8 and it wouldn’t be allowed to be shut down, because we would have unlimited resources like money, so no biggy. We would have meetings for the teachers every Tuesday (still), but we would let the teachers talk about how they think they can better benefit our students. For example, sometimes there’s those students who struggle to grasp a concept, and the teacher struggles to think of another way teaching the student in a way he/she will understand. By pinging the issue off of other teachers, the struggling teacher can get advice and ideas about solving the issue. The principal in the new middle school wouldn’t be [our principal]. A lot of the middle schoolers act out to spite him, and honestly, I don’t really like the way he runs things. He can stay with the elementary school. By not having middle school and elementary in the same building, we could go back to having 7 classes for middle school in order to prep the students for high school. The buildings would be less cramped, thus less chaos in the hallways. -Alia

If I had to make one change to Second Street School with an unlimited resource, I would change our schedule. Currently, we have 3, 1 hour and 45 minute classes. This is a long time per class and I find it mentally draining. If we had more teachers our school would be able to offer more classes and we would have shorter classes. This would keep our minds fresh and we would not be drained each class.- Margaret

I would like to get better toilet paper because the current toilet paper is translucent. -Will

Should students be rewarded for good work at school?

No, school students should not be rewarded for their grades or school performances because they should automatically be expected to do the right thing.-Preston

Yes, but the reward needs to be for extremely good work or grades. This could be used as an incentive for students to learn. Except students could maybe do this stuff just for the reward and not learn anything. The reward has to be pretty good for students to actually want it. I feel like this could get more students to learn. So, yes there should be a reward for good grades and school performance. -Eli

Personally, yes I believe that students should be rewarded for their performance in school. Students who work hard and put determination in their work should be rewarded. It is not fair to the children who make straight A’s(or straight blues) to be treated the same as the students who simply don’t care about their grades. I believe that if we were rewarded students who currently don’t care about their grades would. This is why I believe that students should be rewarded for their performance in school. -Ella

Students should be rewarded for their performance in school because it is important to reward success. Students who are successful in school general are only told “Good job” or nothing at all, but they deserve much more. By rewarding good academic performance, all students would be motivated to perform well, leading to success for everyone. Rewards need to be strictly monitored though. Too often things like this are given out loosely making it no longer a reward for academic success, but a prize given out to everyone who “tried their hardest”. Academic-based rewards need to be a thing that rewards those who do exceptionally well and motivates those who don’t. -Audrey

Students should be rewarded for their grades and school performance because then kids who can do the work, but just don’t care might start caring and want whatever the reward is. This would make them work more and then grades would go up, and school would be more successful. -Jack

No, I believe that students should not be rewarded for their grades. I constantly have straight A’s, but I don’t get anything. You should just be expected to get a good grade. The teachers taught it and it is your responsibility to retain the knowledge. Let’s say that someone has really bad grades and then gets barely at mastery, then the person will get candy bar or something. However, students like me who always have good grades (with the exception of the times when I am at a conference and my science teacher schedules a test and then does not leave me off of the grade) don’t even get recognition for their grades. You should be able to just get the good grade rather than have something like $50 to get you to actually work hard for the grade. -Sam

I think it is okay to have rewards every once in a while for good grades or school performances but not all of the time. When you have a career as an adult, there generally aren’t people patting you on the back every time you do something right. I think students do need some recognition for great accomplishments but we also need to get used to doing the right thing because we should, not because we are going to get rewarded. -Jaleia

I do feel like students should be rewarded for their grades/school performance, only if they’re students that constantly go above and beyond, because those students rarely ever get rewarded. Schools usually reward students that always disrespect school staff and other students that do something right once, which isn’t fair to the students do what their supposed to do. The students that are being rewarded should be rewarded by getting a day of them being able to do whatever they want at school. -Makiya

Yes, students with a 100 point average that behave well in class should be rewarded for their grades. I’m not talking about a orange piece of paper they should have actual rewards such as candy because I mean who doesn’t like candy. -Vance

I think that students should be rewarded for their grades/school performance because many students need to feel like they are valued for their hard work, or there is no reason to try at all. Moreover, students are already rewarded with the K-prep ceremony for their proficient or above scores, but there are also many students who cannot get good scores, with good grades. Furthermore, we could implement an honor roll or some other kind of recognition for their success and we could also offer an award trip to students with the best grade point average. -Katie

Yes, students should be rewarded for their grades. Most students work really hard for their grades and they don’t feel like they are appreciated enough so most slack off and distract others and make it harder for them to work. If we were rewarded for our efforts more people would want to learn and get good grades and it would stop a lot if kids from acting foolish. Our school use to do this and it worked pretty well all we get is a trip to holiday world at the end of the year and even if kids have bad grades they get to go. For the 8th grade we are not even guaranteed the trip this year due to our end of the year trip to Washington DC. This would help a lot of kids have interest in learning.- Allena

Yes, students should be rewarded for their grades and academic performances. They should be rewarded with something like candy or free time. They should be rewarded because it will encourage students to work harder to get a reward that they want. -Colin

Yes, students should be rewarded for their grades and performance because I feel like the students work hard and don’t get recognize for their effort but if students have their grades not as well than others than they get consequences but if your grades are well then you don’t get an award and I feel that it’s not fair to those who have done things well and not get an award. -David

Yes, I think students should be rewarded for their grades/performances. I think this for two reasons-

1. The students that work hard to get good grades and perform well in school should get rewarded because they’ve worked hard! They need some time off. It’s work work work for them and no play. We need to have some time off, loosen our chain a little.

2. It sets an example for the kids that aren’t working so hard. It gives them something to work up to so they can have fun then rather than slacking off in class.

These two reasons are why students should be rewarded for their grades/school performances. -Lucy

No, I don’t think that students should be rewarded for their grades/ school performances because some people would only do this for the reward, not everyone would even care about the reward, and it would ruin some people who like to work hard because that’s what they would be taught. In the real world, you don’t get rewarded for your performance on things, your paid for work, and if you think about it, you don’t have to be good at your job to get rewarded. -Khloe

Students should be rewarded because it influences the students who don’t make good grades to try to fix that. Students should be rewarded but only every once in awhile. If students are overly rewarded then that will become normal for them and they will just expect their reward. -Sawyier

This topic is based on what the students did and if they showed enough effort to be able to be rewarded. If students showed that they care about the subject they were learning and showed that they fully understand what they learned, then they should be rewarded in some way. Our school rewards students who get all proficient and distinguished on K-PREP with a party in which they get to leave class and go to the gym for that amount of time. This is a good type of reward for things like this, students getting time off from class to be rewarded on the good things they did. If we did this for maybe an essay that the whole 8th Grade had to write, this wouldn’t be a good reward because the assignment was so small. K-PREP is on a whole different scale from an essay. A reward for an essay could be a little time off from class, maybe like 15 minutes, or a small reward. By doing this it can lead students to want to do better in the classroom and show real effort so they can be rewarded. -Campbell

Students should not be rewarded for their grades at school. One reason why students should not be rewarded is because when they go off to their job and they expect to get a piece of candy everyday for doing good work. This method should only be used on very young kids to get them to work harder in order to reach their goal to get a treat. When you have a job you will still be expected to put in the same amount of effort but not get a piece of candy at the end. That is why I believe schools should not give out treats for grades or performance. -Emmy

Yes students should be rewarded for grades and schools performance. If there are people who have outstanding performance in academics why should we just sit back and act like its nothing . maybe just a 20 minute break would be fine but we need some kind of reward to let us know we are appreciated not just something that gets the school a good score at the end of the year. -Kylee

It depends on what type of rewards. Personally, I think that small rewards are fine, but in moderation. Many schools do ice cream parties or pieces of candy or trips. I think that the best thing for Second Street School to do would be to hold a pizza party or an ice cream party or any other type of party on the last day of every quarter. Students who have 80% overall mastery or above are invited to this party. Other incentives ought to be added as well, although those can be determined by individual teachers or grade-by-grade. It is vital for students to feel like they, and not just their grades, are treasured by the school, and for students to have a reason to try to get good grades. -Rebecca

See, I’m not completely sure that they should be, but at the same time, I’m not saying they shouldn’t be. I mean, students should be rewarded under certain circumstances. Those circumstances should be consistently having great grades (As and Bs), actually trying to improve your grade if it’s low or drops, and consistently displaying a decent (like not super perky but not super mean at the same time). I mean, if you’re able to consistently display your effort and attention to the things you should be, then why shouldn’t you be rewarded. You’re working towards a better situation for yourself in the future and an incentive would help keep students motivated. Students shouldn’t be rewarded for grades like Cs and Ds. They shouldn’t be rewarded for showing a lack of effort. -Alia

Students should not be rewarded for having good grades. In school, you are supposed to get good grades. We should not reward people for things that they should be doing. I think it would be pointless to reward people for something that is expected of them. -Margaret

No, because if the students had a reason to get good grades, are they really working hard? Also, when the students get a reward or compensation what’s there to say other students aren’t going to take it? But, having an award for high achievements to influence students to try and to do good in school is a good idea, it would just have to be very carefully executed. -Will

Does our school reward creative thinking?

School does not reward creative thinking. In many classrooms teachers like to teach their own way and not branch out to anyone else’s points of view. For instance, this usually happens in math classes where teachers teach their own way to students. Some students have other ways to do it and some teachers are fine with it. A lot are not, but most do this. For instance in my 8th grade math class, when we were on exponents I blew through them because I was using the rules. My teacher however always used expanded form and made me do it on a test which I did not like.- Eli

Personally, I don’t think that school does reward creative thinking. It almost seems as if our school cares about a growth mindset and academics rather than out of the box thinking. They simply don’t care about the students who deserve to be rewarded for their innovative and original thinking. We simply can’t wrap our minds around the fact that maybe academics and creative thinking go hand in hand. In conclusion, our school can’t forget about a growth mindset long enough to recognize and reward students for their innovative thinking. -Ella

School does not reward creative thinking. In school individuality and creativity is suppressed until everyone is the same. There is no room for any different kind of thinking in school. Many of my teachers have shut down students whenever they had something to say or wanted to change something on an assignment. At our school, we flaunt minimum competency and any student who wants to go above and beyond is silenced. We only reward those who have “tried their hardest” and done proficient work, not those who go the extra mile and think outside of the box.- Audrey

In our school most teachers do not reward creative thinking. I think this is because in our school we really just want to have everyone at the minimum acceptance level (so everyone at 70%) and that blocks them from seeing that we are there and then beyond that.- Jack

NO! School does NOT seem to reward creative thinking. Whenever a student is thinking outside of the box comes, up with an idea, and fixes a problem or gets a great grade on a test they won’t get the credit. Somebody else will. Like the teacher that does not even teach you. Some of my classes challenge me and allow me to think creatively but others give people who don’t even actually do the work. And students who constantly think outside of the box but when a kid who barely passes their math test gets a Dr. Pepper or a new toy. It just doesn’t make sense.- Sam

I do not think school rewards creative thinking, let alone allow it. This is especially true when it comes to answering test questions. We are always told, “Stick to the script, follow RACE.” We are told specific things to say and when we put our own personal twist on something or don’t follow an exact order, we are told it is incorrect or that we need to do it differently. Although schools preach and preach that we are free thinkers and that we should be creative but in reality we are told to just do as we are told.- Jaleia

I feel like it depends on the administration at your school. At my school, because of the current administration, our creative thinking isn’t rewarded. Instead, everything has to be by the book, and we can’t really use our own strategies to do things. However, with past administration, I feel like they were constantly for us to think creatively and use different strategies to do things.- Makiya

Vance Mueller

I mean [the principal] gave a third grader more credit for labeling a house than Eli got for his book so, no this school does not reward creative thinking.

School does not seem to reward being creative. I draw this conclusion from my personal experience and the general foundations of our education system today. The education system rewards students for doing what is “right”, not for what is creative. They often attack students with creative ideas and big dreams and make them want to discount their beliefs. I know this because it happened to me. The very few who break through this maze of lies and traps of discouragement often go on to do great things in all fields. but I have to wonder, does school want that? Does society itself want that? We hate to say it sometimes, but creative thinkers often rise to the top and become more powerful than us. are we simply trying to assert dominance and shut down creative thinkers? Maybe. Is there something larger going on? Maybe as well. One thing is for sure, something needs to change.- Jake

In some ways schools attempt to reward creative thinking, but most fall short with the limitations they present creative programs with. For example, we had student council elections for positions of power that would potentially introduce ideas to the administration that would be implemented in school. However, the students elected to the council have not had one idea accepted by the administration, and basically have meetings based on nothing because everything gets shot down. Sadly, in the world of education this is far to true everywhere else. The school presents programs to “promote” creative thinking, but, in reality, the ideas created often are not done anything with or are to creative for the school. Moreover, some programs, such as KUNA and KYA, are very productive with students innovative ideas. Overall, although some programs promote creative thinking, many schools do not give creative thinking the kinds of encouragement the students thinking needs.- Katie

No they do not. This is not just our school but it seems like the worst school when it comes to rewarding creative thinking. Schools seem to not ever care about what gifted students are doing, the only seem to care what the students who need help are doing. If a gifted student gets a question right then it would be no big deal and other students who are struggling would say that they were a “try hard’. When a struggling student gets a question though they get praised for barley doing anything when the teacher did most of the thinking for them. If we ever get good KPREP scores we get this little party that 4th-8th graders get and it is tailored to the 4th graders so we listen to childish songs. That is about all students get as a reward for creative thinking and this makes people not want to think creatively because they barely get anything in return.- Allena

Colin Peters

No, our school definitely doesn’t reward creative thinking. If they do think think of a really creative or unique idea, the school will shoot it down as ¨unrealistic, ”wishful thinking,¨ and ¨childish.¨

I don’t think school seems to reward creative thinking because the school just wants kids to learn and don’t care how you think but just want to know if you can do your work.Schools just want to know if you get the right answer and if not then you just get retaught but the ones who understand the content then most of them think differently and don’t care how creative your thinking was to get the answer but schools just want to know if you can get the right answer.- David

School sometimes rewards creative thinking. When they do, they reward them in art shows and performing arts. They also reward it by our culminating projects to show we’ve actually done something in that class. Nationally, we reward creative thinking by letting someone skip a few grades or selling art. There isn’t really any reward for GT kids that I see in the world besides ATLAS. ATLAS is a class for the advanced ELA kids to actually learn something. Rather than that, there is no appreciation for GT kids, we get treated like our intelligence is equal to some of the students in our other classes, which is not fair because we need more advanced curriculum. That’s why I said we sometimes reward creative thinking, because we do, but almost never for the older GT kids, like me. I believe we need more appreciation for creative thinkers in the fields of science, writing, mathematics, and many more subjects. School rewards creative thinking only sometimes.- Lucy

No, our school doesn’t seem to reward creative thinking. Our school is more focused on growth rather than creative thinking. Our school would rather us grow from one standard to the next, and it seems that they could care less about us being creative as long as we’re always growing. It’s kind of upsetting, and I would change it if I weren’t afraid it would change again when I left for high-school next year. I think that it’s really sad that the creative kids get no recognition, but if you go from a red standard to a blue one you get all the credit in the world. In our school it’s like the only way to get recognized is to go from bad grades to good grades, even when some of us won’t have bad grades at all because we’re above grade level. It’s not fair, it’s not anything special, and creativeness doesn’t matter. This is what we’re being taught in most classes. It’s like we’re zombies learning, “Creativeness bad, growth good.”- Khloe

I don’t believe our school rewards creative thinking. If you think about it, when have we ever rewarded creative writing? There are times we have, but it’s usually just writing involved with some sort of program. For example, we have morning meetings to announce the people that have done well in something. Things such as academic team, beta, contests with the PTSA, etc. are things that get rewarded by being announced. This doesn’t really showcase individual writing or reward it. If we had more programs or opportunities that surround creative writing, than I think it could be better for our school. Also, having more rewards may influence others to strive and reach that line. -Sawyier

Schools don’t seem to reward creative thinking that much. This comes with the exception if the school are just for gifted and talented students. When administration see creative writing pieces they may just see them as a normal piece that a student has worked really hard on if the student isn’t counted as GT. If they look at a paper that was written by an identified GT student, they think the other way. They also don’t really reward these papers, it’s mostly a pat on the back and telling us good job. By noting acknowledging creative writing among students, it can sometimes make students feel that they are under appreciated.- Campbell

Schools do not seem to reward creative thinking. I’ve noticed that creative thinkers get the same attention in school as an average mind. Take for example if there is an art class and there is a young student with an average mind and there is another young student with a very creative mind. Say they each make a piece of art. The art teacher makes the same reaction for the average kid as the talented kid. They do this so that all students will feel valuable but sometimes this can end up hurting creative minds in the long run. Think about it, all everybody wants is to be relatable because that is how you get friends. If you don’t put the creative minds together they will slowly adapt to the kids around them who do not have a more complex mind. Therefore schools should start making more classes dedicated to these students with creative minds.- Emmy

It depends on who you are if you get awarded for critical or creative thinking. Our schools today are so focused on growth that they don’t care about the people who are so high they can’t grow anymore. Schools Reward people who were low and started to think creatively but never think about those who were already to their level. Our school tends to overlook gifted students they have special ed for low kids and they get around 3 hours of help a day, but when it comes to gifted kids 30 minutes a week suffices.-Kylee

Our school goes back and forth on rewarding creative thinking. I’ve obviously not been at this school for very long, but I’ve noticed that they tend to recognize the younger students when they have creative ideas, and for the most part they tend to do the same thing for the older students. However, when it comes to writing there is almost no room for creativity. You wrote a six-paragraph paper? No! It must be five paragraphs. You wrote something other than a 1-3-1? No! You tried something different than what you said in your thesis? No! I don’t think that this is just a problem with our school, I believe that this is a problem with schools everywhere, but an enormous part of writing is the ability to think creatively and to be able to write something different than everyone else. And most school just don’t reward that. -Rebecca

School only sort of seems to reward creative thinking. I say this because schools don’t really allow us to think outside the box often. Teachers are often telling us how to structure our thinking, or they’re telling us that if you don’t do something the way they want you to, it’s wrong. The issue here is that, not everything HAS to be done in ONE way. I mean think about it. There are multiple ways to solve math problems and multiple ways to write. This means, there ARE multiple ways to think. When schools to allow creative thinking, it seems to shock people. They’ll try to showcase your work and all that, but they don’t really continue to let you think as creatively as you can. They don’t really let you expand your thinking. – Alia

I think that our school does not reward creative thinking, but some other schools do. Others schools have provide more opportunities for creative thinkers and put them in advanced classes and treat them differently than other people in the classroom. However, our school does not provide those opportunities. For instance, creative thinkers are put at the same level as other students. -Margaret

No, school is a standardized war zone where you sit and memorize, regurgitate, then forget, then the cycle repeats until you graduate.- Will

What is one activity you’ve done at or with school that you absolutely loved?

I really enjoy going to KUNA and KYA. While these are extracurricular activities I have found that my skills from these benefit me in school. I enjoy speaking at these conferences and preparing beforehand, and I learn more about government and international relations at these conferences than I would in a regular classroom. By having an interactive experience that simulates the roles of government I am able to really understand government.-Audrey

An activity that I have participated in at school that I really enjoyed was Y-Chapter. This was because when we were starting to come up with ideas, bills/resolutions, plans, and other things needed for both KYA and KUNA, we were all able to present our ideas about what we can present at convention. Y-Chapter also allowed students to work on skills that we might usually not work on a usual classroom like debate, how to write a bill/resolution, and how to take others opinions into consideration.- Campbell

I really enjoy when the school, for the most part, collectively departs to their home. Also Archery, too.


I really like the high school elective. I love using the robots and now we are designing rockets. It is my favorite class I have ever taken at this school. I can’t wait to go to the high school.- Eli

An activity I loved was KYA/KUNA. This is because at both events I learned that my voice can really infatuate the way people feel. Also it made me a better speaker overall. I also got to learn about new topics I did not know about before.-Jack

I loved the wax museum last year. even though it was nerve-wracking during the preparation, the payoff was very fun and educational. The research was also very informative. – Jake

One activity that I have participated in at school that I love is track. Although it can be hard at times, it is fun to go to meets, hang out with your team, and prepare for your races. I also like it because you don’t necessarily have to feel like you are racing to beat other people. You can strive to get your fastest time each meet and you will improve greatly. If you don’t enjoy running alone, you can do relay races and help your team. Track is a fun sport for anyone who loves to stay active, including me.- Jaleia

An activity I have participated in that I really have loved is track team. I have thoroughly enjoyed track because it has been my best and favorite sport. I enjoy running a sport where I can run for myself, as well as my team. Meaning, I can run events on my own and, also, with members of my own team. For example, I run the 100 meter dash, an event where I am competing against my time and other teams, and I run the 4 by 400 meter dash, a race with 4 other members of our team running the race together. – Katie

One activity I participated in at school that I really loved would be KYA or KUNA. I would say that these were activities I really loved because they were great learning experiences and fun. I liked these activities more than anything else because they helped me with my public speaking, they helped me learn about different parts of our world and state, and they helped me make new friends. I hope we get the option to continue these things over the next few years of high school, because I can’t wait to do these things again. – Khloe

When I was in 6th grade, I joined KUNA. KUNA stands for Kentucky United Nations Assembly. KUNA really helps with my leadership and writing skills at the same time by optionally writing a resolution (I have both times I’ve gone) and helps with your public speaking skills because you must present your resolution in front of a range of about 15-800 kids. It depends on whether you get to read yours in the General Assembly or not, but it’s more likely you present your resolution in front of a group of about 25 kids then about 15 (committee then summit). They give you a country that you write a resolution for. All countries in the UN are included to be used and a bunch of different schools come from all around Kentucky with a varying range of how many countries they are assigned. It also lets you have fun and embrace your fancy style. On the first day, you can either wear your native attire or business casual. On the second day, you wear business-professional for the main part of the day, but then at about 8, we have mandatory fun which is a dance, movie, talent stage, all that and you get to wear school-appropriate clothes. One of the best things about KUNA is the teacher that runs it. Elly Gilbert is an inspiring teacher who helps kids each day and runs the Y-club (including KUNA) and still affords to be able to bring her kids along to the event. KUNA is a fun and life-changing experience for a kid my age and I would totally recommend that you or your child go to KUNA.- Lucy

In 5th grade, we had a day that was focused on cleaning the entire school, and just doing things that would make it look better. The formal name of it was beautification day. My assignment was picking up the recycling bins and going through them. I felt great being able to help my school, and the school looked great after everyone was done doing their part in the day. -Makiya

I have participated in Y Clubconferences and I have really loved those. I have done KUNA and KYA and I have enjoyed those conferences which is why I continue to participate in them. In KUNA, I enjoy discovering different cultures and debating. In KYA , I love to use my voice and debate on bills. -Margaret

One of the activities that I have been able to participate in this year at school is being a KYA bill sponsor. Not only did I get to attend a conference on government but I also got to write a bill, write a speech, and convince people to vote for our bill. I got to learn about different topics that I’d never really explored before and I got to meet people from all over Kentucky at the conference. I enjoyed learning about how the issue of human trafficking and how it affects the citizens of the Commonwealth. As opposed to most things that I do in school, my group and I were free to explore whichever topic we chose and could express our opinions without judgement. The KYA experience was extremely educational, but also very different from a school setting, meaning that students often learn more at a three-day conference than they would in a five-day week at school.- Rebecca

An activity that I have participated in at school was KUNA. At KUNA this year, I was able to speak a lot! In the end, I got an Outstanding Speaker award. I also liked Academic Team. In fifth grade I was able to be a starter on the quick recall team. It was very fun. I also got to take the Social Studies test. I ended up placing first and I thought that it was super fun.- Sam

An activity that I have participated in at school that I really liked was when we went on the gifted and talented field trip at the capital. I liked this because it was interesting to see all the people speak even if I don’t like every person that spoke (Stivers.) It was also cool to see kids sing/play and give speeches.- Sawyier

In my recent years of education, I’ve done many class activities, but none that jumped out as enjoyable or memorable. One has stuck with me though from kindergarten. I was selected to read with the 1st graders and I actually enjoyed that because I used to love reading during class. -Will

Benefits and Drawbacks to Giftedness, Part 3

There are many challenges to holding this label. First, you have to deal with all the less advanced people asking you for answers. Everyone always gets excited when they are assigned to sit next to a “smart person” because now they get to copy off of you. Also, it is hard when you are bored in class and reading, teachers will get mad at you for not paying attention, but you already know how to do what your teacher is teaching. And, you have to deal with everyone calling you a nerd. Whenever you have a big academic accomplishment, the only thing said to you is what a big nerd you are. Also, teachers are a big challenge. Sometimes I feel like my teachers don’t like me because I am more advanced than the others in my class. It’s like they don’t appreciate the concept of other people being more advanced and at a different level than others. —Margaret W., 7th grade

Being “smart” or “gifted” often presents more challenges than it does benefits. Many adults believe that gifted students are “smart enough” they don’t believe that they need the resources that they dedicate to the “average” students. And so gifted students find themselves suffering through classes much too easy for them, and having almost no resources dedicated to them. Additionally, students often get in trouble for not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Oftentimes, gifted students get done with their work quickly and move on to playing games with their Chromebook, texting their friends, acting out, reading books, or doing other things that they are not supposed to do during class. Being “gifted” isn’t really much of a gift. I never have to put in any effort in my classes, I ace all of my tests without studying, and no one cares. They may say “good job” once or twice, but I’m expected to perform well. When a student who normally gets D’s gets a B, the entire school will applaud them and give them praise for improving, but those of us who always get A’s rarely get anything.– Rebecca V. , 8th grade

Being a bright, high achieving student definitely brings challenges, one being that you are always held to a high standard. Teachers and students both realize you are a high achieving student and will expect you to do well on everything you do. Although some of us may be able to, if we don’t do well on something, we are often judged or told we could have done better. Another challenge we face is when helping other students during class. When we are doing in-class work and anther student needs help, they will try to not necessarily get help, but get the answer. They will use us as bait in order to get a good grade. — Jaleia H., 7th grade

Benefits and Drawbacks to Giftedness, Part 2

The challenges the label present is we have to be the ones in the classrooms to act like a teacher and explain to other kids what something means. We’re always the ones who should know the answer to a question and not get it wrong when we’re scared and nervous to answer a question and get it wrong knowing that everyone depends on you getting the right answer. –David R., 7th grade

The challenges the label of ” gifted” presents varies from person to person. The most common challenges gifted students face are more based on their learning styles than anything else. Most students that are labeled gifted have different learning styles from most other students. Talented students also are more likely to get in trouble than other students because they think in many different ways. –Jake N., 8th grade

Being a high achieving students can be a gift but it can also be a burden. People who are gifted get in trouble a lot more in normal classes because they are bored and have nothing to do. For example, the education we get is like giving a 2-year-old and a growing teenager the same portion of food; it’s not fair to the teenager because a growing teen eats way more than a 2-year-old. People who need higher level education cant get it because so many people hate gifted students and think everyone should get the same education. There are some benefits though gifted students have so much potential and can do great things with their lives but they need a chance to grow their talents. – Kylee V., 7th Grade

The challenges that this label represents is that everybody expects so much from you. Every time you go out for an extracurricular for a couple of days and then get a bad grade, an average kid will gasp and say “AWWWWW I HAVE A BETTER GRADE THAN SAM! HAHAHA!” Also, people will call you “smart kid” I take that as an insult. I know I am smart an all but you don’t need to say it like I’m just a horrible person. However, there are some benefits. Being gifted makes me mentally aware of the things around me. It also allows me to get more opportunities when I am applying for college. And I get special classes because I am not being challenged in my other classes. But, there are still some challenges of being a gifted student. People think that my advanced language arts class (ATLAS) makes everybody else who is not in it dumb. It is not supposed to make people feel dumb it is supposed to give a challenge to the kids who are not given one. Also, people will think that you think that you are better than everybody else. That is not true. They also think that you are a smart alec and snobby. Then people who get a B minus will get a Dr. Pepper or something when us gifted kids get nothing for constantly getting distinguished and A-pluses. This is one of the worst parts about being gifted. You don’t think that I want a soda? No of course not that will distract me from my learning. And then the administration will treat you like you aren’t important and say that they care when they don’t. They always have to solve the drama when the bad behavior kids come to them immediately. But when the gifted kids come to the guidance counselors, they take months to do nothing about it. It is not fair. Just because we are gifted does not mean that we don’t have feelings. The kids that are not gifted are sometimes very rude to the gifted students (especially during Student Council elections), which gives us an even bigger reason for going to the guidance counselors. But still, nothing gets done about us. It is not fair. My principal will say “No one is born smart.” Then why do we have a gifted and talented program? I love being gifted, but sometimes it stinks. –Sam G., 7th Grade