School Survival

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Why I hate school in general

Me ranting about why I hate school.
by SoulRiser

A while ago someone asked me to write an article on why I hate school in general. I sent it, but haven't heard from him since, so I decided I might as well stick it up here..... so here it is:

What is school? A place of learning? That was the original idea. But that was a long, long time ago. School is still assumed to be a place of learning, but the things we learn the most about nowadays is to shut up when a teacher is talking, obey all rules, do all your homework, and never argue against the rules. Teachers say it's all "for our own good", as if they care for us so much that they force us to obey rules by threatening us with all sorts of punishment, that no reason is accepted for not doing homework, and that anyone who complains is just plain "lazy". I mean, I complain a lot about getting homework, but I really don't see myself as lazy at all. Why? Well, I work hard every day learning how to play guitar, drawing pictures, writing poetry, reading TONS of stuff about everything I'm interested in, and maintaining my internet site. Teachers say those things can wait until I'm finished with school, and that my education is the most important thing to me. They have no right to tell me what I should view as important to me, I have my own mind, I make my own decisions.

Teachers seem to wonder why students refuse to do homework, and hate schoolwork so much. I hate homework because the teachers want me to view it the way they do. I can't stand wasting my time doing stuff other people say are so important but really don't benefit anyone. I could do so much more good spending time with a friend. But I'm not supposed to see that as more important than my "education". I would much rather give my time for a friend than for someone who will punish me if I don't. If a teacher asked me nicely to do them a favour, I would be more willing to do it because it has some direct benefit for someone. Now, a teacher would probably say that homework is important because we learn from it and improve our ability in the work. But then what's school itself for? Those are the things that school itself is supposed to do. Homework was only invented much later.

Why are most teachers so unkind? They seem to want us to hate them, even if they keep demanding our respect. How can someone who takes out their everyday frustrations on students in their class expect to be liked? How can someone who doesn't listen to anything a student tries to tell them expect that student to obey rules they set for them? One teacher once told me "I did not become an educator to be liked by students". They don't plan to be liked, so if they're not liked, how can they possibly demand respect?! I have never once been unkind to any of my teachers, yet often they are unkind to me and my other friends who have never been unkind to them.

Students who don't like school are seen as the trouble-makers, and somehow associated with laziness and disrespect. I'll say a little more about the respect thing: respect is earned, you can't demand it. The so-called authority in schools demand that we respect them. What have they done to deserve our respect? I can't speak for everyone, but I always respect someone until I find reason to do otherwise... kind of like "innocent until proven guilty". So, in my school I started off by respecting my principal and all my teachers... but not any more, because: they don't care if we tell them we can't cope with homework, then they just tell us we have to plan our time effectively. If we have a free period, they tell us to do "something constructive" in other words, schoolwork. And never mind what WE might view as constructive. Sometimes sleeping can be the most constructive thing to do to get some rest so we'll have energy later on. Basically I don't respect them because they don't respect me. They broke the respect, so I broke it too. You reap what you sow. So we disrespect them but they can't see that they need to get a little respect for us too. Now of course a teacher will argue against what I just said, and probably say I should just learn to cope with it. Why? Give me one good reason why I should learn to cope with being pushed around and getting (what I view as) useless work stuffed down my throat. I'm not the type of person that just 'adapts' to everything people do to me. I stick up for myself. I don't take crap from anyone. And don't tell me how much teachers care about and respect students, because if they really do, they better learn to practice what they preach before they lose all hope of anyone ever believing that.

Update: 15 May 2009

(9 years later) If I could redo school, knowing everything that I know now... I would have so much fun. I would just sit in class and not do any work. If the teachers yelled at me, I would laugh at them. I would have sooo much fun arguing with them and watching them get all flustered and frustrated, while I stand there and smile at them, gently poking holes in their arguments.

Look at it this way, everyone does what they do for a reason. What are their reasons? Why do they demand respect? Probably because they don't feel respected... possibly deep down they don't respect themselves. If they did, why would they care what anyone else thinks of them? Why do they get so upset when kids disagree with them? Maybe they're not really sure of themselves to begin with, and they don't want to question themselves, so when someone else does, it forces them to think about it, and they don't want to do that, so they try to kill off the question as quickly as possible.

People are strange and fascinating creatures.

Written by: SoulRiser
13 September 2000

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