I would have to say that most of my intelligence, and probably a lot of people’s intelligence, comes from school. Interactions with teachers went a long way towards helping me build that intelligence. My interactions with teachers were usually good. I was quiet but I did my work, got good grades, and was never an issue. As a result, my teachers put more focus on others that were struggling but if I ever needed help with something, they were happy to lend a hand. That worked well for me. I liked being able to figure things out for myself before I go to someone else. Doing things on my own did lead to me not being as close to some of my teachers as others but I was okay with that. When I did interact with my teachers, it went well. They always tried to do what they could to help me with whatever I came to them with. This was exactly what I needed in order to learn as much as I could and perform academically.
While those methods worked for me, they do not work for every student. Everyone’s ideal environment for learning is a little different. To get students to learn and do well, teachers need to do their best to understand what that environment might be for each student. In order to do this, they need more time working as close to one-on-one with students as possible. Smaller class sizes could achieve this. The average class in my high school probably had 30 people in it; it can be hard to learn the specific preferences of 30 people. Cutting down on class size makes it easier for the teachers to learn that. Another thing to change could be the curriculum. In Pennsylvania, we have these tests called the keystones. They suck, they’re stupid, and I spent a ton of time in class just learning how to do well on those tests. Instead of designing the curriculum to get students to perform well on standardized tests like that, make the emphasis on trying to make sure students are really learning the material. I think making those changes could help schools improve the performance of their students.