I Just Wanna Be Average
Mike Rose argues that society, more often than not, overlooks the potential of students. He displays when stating "students will float to the mark you set" (220).
Mike Rose earns his credibility throughout the essay because he talks about his own experience of being accidently placed in a "vocational program" during high school (218). Instead of putting up a fight to try to get out of the program, he made the best of his situation. Rose develops his narrative by comparing and contrasting different teachers to show their ability, or lack of, to motivate struggling students, "But mostly the teachers had no idea of how to engage the imaginations of us kids who were scuttling along at the bottom of the pond" (220). Rose illustrates the personalities of some of his teachers, like Brother Dill, who was unenthusiastic about his job and the capability of his students, "occasionally he would lose control and shake or smack us" (218). He explains that teachers didn't teach them to succeed, but instead they taught the bare minimum for them to get by.
While Rose's essay speaks to students, it also encourages administrators and teachers to review their practice. He displays his voice to the students by trying to make the reader relate to Dave, Ted, or Ken and recognize that they are not alone. The purpose of Ken's statement, "I just wanna be average," is to touch on the stereotypes of certain students based on the classes they take, and some of the flaws within the school system. Rose uses vivid language to express the attitudes of students in vocational programs, "F---- this bull----" (222). Rose shows
in Rose, 1989). 2. According to Rose, how does coming from a working class background shape one's identity? Mike Rose had come from a working class family which had sacrificed a lot to enable their son join a Catholic school in expectation of enhanced education. However, Rose was put in the vocational education by mistake and his parents also could do nothing about it since they had no idea about the standardized education system of America. According to Rose, if a child belongs to the working class in a vocational education, he is treated in a guarded manner. In other words, he is considered‘ slow’ by the school, he is given a curriculum which doesn’t liberates rather restrains him from gaining knowledge and even if some training is provided it is always below the esteem level of the society (Rose, 1989). 3. According to Rose, how do students act "average'? Students who are unable to cope up with the vocation education system often defend themselves by acting “average”. ...
ese vocational schools triggers them to act ‘average’ because instead of giving them a better education to rectify their disabilities, they provide them a below average education from under-qualified teachers (Rose, 1989). 4. What does Rose mean by "students will float to the mark you set?" By saying “students will float to the mark”, Rose wants to imply that the attitude a teacher carries for the student, the same attitude will be replicated by the students. In other words, if a teacher does not puts any endeavor in teaching the students a lesson, the students will also not put any endeavor in comprehending it. For instance, a teacher who is tedious and delusional and exerts only verbal power cannot teach anything to his students and as a result, the students will also not show any interest and effort towards learning. Higher the willingness and quality of teaching of the teacher, higher will be the degree of outcome of the students (Rose, 1989). 5. What does Jack MacFarland offer Rose that finally helps him learn? MacFarland saw great potential in Rose and swayed him to pursue a college education. It was under the tutelage of MacFarland that Rose developed the passion for learning, reading and writing. The influence of MacFarland helped Rose recognize his true inner self and what he wanted to be. Owing to hard work and the complete support of MacFarland, Rose was finally able to attend college (Rose, 1989). 6. Can you, as a former high school student, relate to any parts of this article? Explain. As a former high school student, I can definitely relate to the hardships that these working class students or those with learning disabilities have to go through. There were numerous students in my school whose parents are financially unstable and had made many ...Show more