By Ella Bryant
Imagine you’re on your way to a class, briefly walking in the halls. You soon hear something about a test. “Huh,” you wonder, “what’s this test everyone’s talking about?” Soon, you’re in class. You hear the same whispers. “Is there a test tomorrow?”, you eventually ask the teacher, in curiosity. “Yes, the PSAT” they respond. You’re in shock. You didn’t hear about the test until just now.
Why didn’t you know? Well, one may turn to Harvest’s communication situation.
It’s not a new idea that Harvest has more than a little problem with its communication. Multiple students have called it inconsistent, and like transfer student Delvin, used profanity when talking about it. “It sucks a**” he said when asked how he felt about communication at Harvest.
My feelings with communication are, just like many other students, mostly negative. I came from a very organized middle school, so the impression I got regarding communication was very poor when I became a student at Harvest. Granted, many social events are coordinated with a lot of effort. Students have proved that they are more than capable of planning and executing events like the two Solidarity Luncheons, the Human Rights Conference, and the Coffee House. Soon, we can expect the Talent Show and the Fashion Show to close out the year.
The main issue with communication is on the academic side. Lesedi, a 9th grader, explained the difference between social and academic communication well, stating, “Some things are good, like the Solidarity Lunch, while some are not as good, like parent-teacher conferences and advisory.”
It seems a little ridiculous, in terms of responsibility, that social events are better coordinated at an academic institution. If advisory and parent-teacher conferences, or otherwise known as “student-led” conferences, are worse planned than a dance, what does that say about our school?
Does that mean our school cares more about a dance than learning? Does that mean that students are effectively more organized than adults?
You can answer those for yourself, but it’s clear Harvest doesn’t do a good job with communication. Jason, a 10th grader, explained his frustrations with Harvest communication.
He stated that his mother knew more than him about the school’s events. When I asked for an example, he told me, “Like two days ago I came home and my mom said she got an email that the PSATs are next week and my response was ‘what?’ because I hadn’t heard a single thing about the PSAT.”
The PSAT is a major academic assessment, which can determine scholarships, so not being aware of it is a total shock to the system. Sure, you can play devil’s advocate: maybe Jason didn’t listen, maybe he wasn’t paying attention. That could all be true, but through the students I interviewed, all of the 10th graders stated that they had similar situations with not knowing vital information.
We need to make it a priority to improve Harvest’s academic communication, because students shouldn’t be more organized than our teachers and administrators.
Ella Bryant is a new contributor to the Harvest Tribune publishing team. Soon to be a part of upper-house, she makes her debut with a critical op-ed piece on communication practices at Harvest.