SpringBoard, It Was Nice Knowing You
February 26, 2016
My Language Arts teacher’s name in eighth grade was Mrs. Booker. Today, I still consider her one of my favorite teachers. She was loud, funny and crazy, as well as nice, reasonable and helpful. She made me look forward to learning, and she taught me everything I know about grammar. There was just one problem: her class was dominated by SpringBoard.
CollegeBoard, the makers of SpringBoard, describe the program as as “a comprehensive instructional program in English language arts and mathematics that reflects powerful, research-based understandings about how people learn.” The description also includes terms like “cognitive science,” “strategic learning,” “oral proficiency,” among other things.
However, there is only one appropriate word I would use to describe SpringBoard: boring.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate every effort that the school district makes to educate us. And I’m sure they had good intentions, being that the curriculum comes from CollegeBoard itself. But all I remember from SpringBoard are film angles, The Giver and a whole bunch of weird poetry.
I haven’t even met one student who remotely enjoyed SpringBoard. And education is supposed to be enjoyable. We’re supposed to want to come to school.
Math was my favorite subject in middle school. And the day that they introduced our new workbooks was a traumatic day I’ll never forget.
The school district’s contract with SpringBoard is supposed to end in July of 2017. And I’m sure my fellow classmates would agree with me when I say good riddance.
In the most sympathetic way possible, learning from SpringBoard was incredibly dull. I’m sure CollegeBoard doesn’t like hearing negative comments on something that they probably spent a lot of time, money and effort on, but I can’t say I was upset when I learned that IB didn’t use SpringBoard.
Every time I think about SpringBoard, I think about how much I dreaded having to write those page-long commentaries that always felt like busy work. And I think about how Mrs. Booker tried her hardest to make it exciting, but that her efforts didn’t change anything. The 500-page long SpringBoard book was nothing but extra bricks in my backpack.
Goodbye to the film facts that will never be relevant to my life. Goodbye to the two month-long lesson on The Giver (which was just as boring as SpringBoard). And goodbye to the odd poems that didn’t make any sense.
Most of all, goodbye, Spring Board. You won’t be missed.
Leana Pustam is a senior in IB. She enjoys swimming, playing lacrosse and listening to music when she's not in school. She is a part of many clubs, including...