Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"At Risk" Life

Since my Tedx Ontario presentation many people have been requesting that I start a blog about my thoughts and ideas, so i took this into account and here they are.

Through my whole school career i have been getting in trouble in classrooms and always getting sent down to the office and there was nothing i could do about it, then came along highschool and if i thought life was rough before, was this ever a eye openiner, everything in the school was 3x harder then public school, had to worry about getting class on time bringing all books and all the teachers (no offence) were stiklers if you didnt have what they told you to bring you would sure hear about it. This resulted in me getting 8 credits when i enterd grade 11 and i was like woah how does this work the more i dont wanna be here the longer im gonna end up being here, so i had to start playing the game that the school system creates and by this i mean I attented class when there was something big going on, I did really good no tests, pritty much everything i had to do jsut to get the 50-55% in a class, just so i pass it.

Now im currently a Grade 12 student and i have 17 credits so by the end of next year ill have all my credits accumulated and only be a year behind which is way better then i thought because at the rate i was going I thought i'd be here for 8 years lol. A lot of people have also been asking me; what made you turn around and start doing better in school and it goes with what i said in the paragraph before the more i rebeled at school the longer that i would be in the place that i wanted so badly to get out of, The other answer to that question is proper motivation, most students who are "at risk" just dont care and dont relise what school can and will do for you, they all have the same motivation I had to go to school and it was, YAAAAA go to school, skip and chill with buddies all day! but now my motivation is come to school show up to the bare neccesities to get by and get out of highschool.

Im not sure if this answered anyones questions but please feel free to blog back any questions you might have, and im looking forword to blogging about my Tedx talk


  1. Tim,

    I think you are very brave to express your feelings (that I'm sure many students who are in your position also) have about daily life at school.

    If you were to give us any feedback about how to make school a better place, what would be your 'top 5 tips' for teachers?

    Thanks again for speaking at our event. I think you have made a lot of teachers stop and think about their actions in the classroom.

    Jamie Reaburn Weir

  2. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for writing a blog about your experience. I met you briefly at Tedx, after your talk. What you have to say is important to many educators which must make you feel proud. I hope that your experiences last Friday night also gave you motivation and inspiration. Many of the other speakers talked about their 'bad' experiences at school and that they succeeded 'in spite' of the school system.
    I really enjoyed being surrounded by caring and supportive educators, who want to make learning fun and engaging for everyone. It must have been neat for you as well!

  3. Hi Tim,
    I'm a student success teacher in Penetanguishene, ON. I work with many students who are trying to find out how school might "work" for them. We try to find options that make it useful to them. I think its about time we realized that the way school has run for 100 years doesn't meet the needs nor wants of all of today's students. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reflections. You are an excellent example to many students province-wide!

  4. Hey Tim,
    I really wanted to see Tedx, but was neck-deep in preparing for a technology conference for 300 teachers the next morning. I've now had a chance to see/hear your talk -- directed by a tweet on Twitter.

    I'm glad I heard you, but your experiences sadden me. Will things ever change? I, too, would have been considered an "At Risk" student, if they had such a label way back when. At 16, I dropped out of school with 7 and 2/3 credits and moved into a group home (just didn't get along with my family who were actually very loving). Like you, I would tell anyone who asked that the things most missing at school for me were relevance and mutual respect.... oh, and I seemed to have an overly sensitive bs-detector and just wished all my teachers could be more "real". I'm 48 years old now. That was a long time ago, and based on your talk, kids are still looking for the exact same things to keep them engaged. I certainly hope it has gotten better to some degree, but obviously we haven't filled all the cracks.

    Oh, did I say "we"? Yes, that's right... after all that, I became a teacher. I never did finish high school, but I now have 3 degrees, including a Masters. I went to university as a mature student & my first degree was an honours degree in psychology (b/c you couldn't take it in high school, so I didn't think I'd be behind). Like you, I love people & figuring out how they tick. I suppose that's a big reason why I went into teaching, but the even bigger reason was . . . I really wanted to make it different. I wish you had been one of my students, Tim. You're my favourite kind.

    Sorry to be such a blog hog. I just wanted you to know that I soooo get what you're saying & you've shown that there's hope yet. Keep your message going! Just know that many of us work really hard and really long hours trying to meet the needs of kids in better ways. As a whole system, though, we just seem to be kind of slow at it. Thanks for giving us an extra nudge!