by BRIANNA SICILIANO Staff Writer
In a viral video of Texas student Jeff Bliss, an 18-year-old sophomore who attends Duncanville High School interrupts his class with a monologue about how packets are not the best learning tools.
The video shows Bliss being asked to leave his classroom, but before he leaves, he gives his teacher a piece of his mind. Bliss lectures his teacher about handing out ineffective packets as assignments to her students.
“You want kids to come into your class? You want them to get excited for this? You gotta come in here and make them excited. You want a kid to change and start doing better? You gotta touch his freakin’ heart. Can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell ‘em,” said Bliss.
Bliss’s teacher, whose name has not been revealed by the school district, is heard throughout the minute-and-a-half long video asking Bliss to leave, and repeatedly saying “you’re wasting my time” and “get out.”
“The student is an 18-year-old in a sophomore class. He could be a senior. Maybe the packets are not the problem? Maybe he is the problem and needs extra help,” said sophomore Alexa Caffrey.
The school district has placed the Social Studies teacher on administrative leave while pending an investigation on what led to her student’s outburst, a standard procedure.
Officials within the school district said Bliss met with his school principal and is facing no disciplinary action for his comments in the classroom.
The school district’s spokeswoman Tammy Kuykendall wrote in an email that Bliss had made a few good points.
The district released the following statement: “As a district with a motto of engaging hearts and minds, we focus on building positive relationships with students and designing engaging work that is meaningful. We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way. We are and will continue to be open to listening to students.”
Packets with learning materials are created to help students, for example reviewing for the HSPAs and the PSATs. They do not always teach students, but they prepare them for the future tests.
If students were not given packets before standardized tests, how would the scores be affected? People would go into the tests blind, not knowing what to expect. Packets are not just busy work, they have a purpose.
“Before the PSATs, the guidance department handed out packets for us students to see what the tests were like. The packets included practice problems and if I weren’t handed those problems, I would have done terrible on the test,” said sophomore Giulietta Flaherty.
Packets are learning tools, which include space for notes to be taken and clarify the topic being learned. Other times, packets are for reviews and preparations for the future.
“Every student learns different, sure. Some people learn better by reading, others by learning and doing hands on activities. Teachers know that, but sometimes, they have to open up students to the test material in a certain way and students have to understand that,” said freshman Toni Rotchild.
What’s your opinions on packets in school?