School Survival

Has school destroyed your creativity and self-confidence? I'm working on a book called Recovering From School, to help you heal the damage caused. Join the Patreon or Newsletter to be notified about updates. Paid Patreon members will get early draft previews, as well as a free digital copy when it's done.

School Survival > Blog >

High School Makes Me Sad

If you're reading this, chances are you're feeling pretty down about high school. You're not alone. In fact, there are plenty of us out here who feel the same way. So, let's talk about it.

John Taylor Gatto, a renowned educator, once said that the true purpose of schools is not to educate, but to train obedient workers for the industrial system. It's a harsh truth to swallow, but it explains a lot about why so many of us feel like we're just going through the motions, never really learning anything of value.

Peter Gray, another brilliant mind in education, emphasized the importance of play in learning. Yet, how much play do we get in school? Not nearly enough. Instead, we're bombarded with tests, homework, and lectures, leaving little room for creativity and exploration.

So why does school make us feel so sad? Because it stifles our natural curiosity and joy for learning. It forces us into a one-size-fits-all mold, where individuality is often seen as a problem rather than a strength. It's no wonder so many of us struggle to find meaning and purpose in this system.

Reasons to be sad in High School:

School sucks, but...

But it doesn't have to be this way. Laurie A. Couture reminds us that parents play a crucial role in encouraging their kids to follow their passions and pursue self-directed learning. Instead of pushing us to conform to societal expectations, they should be nurturing our interests and helping us discover our true potential.

Let's also acknowledge the pioneering work of John Holt in understanding the needs of children and adolescents in the educational system. Holt's ideas challenged the traditional notions of schooling, emphasizing the importance of respecting children's innate curiosity and autonomy in their learning process. Through his books like "How Children Fail" and "How Children Learn," Holt shed light on the flaws of the conventional education system and advocated for more child-centered approaches. His concept of "unschooling" paved the way for alternative education movements, encouraging parents and educators to trust in the natural learning abilities of children and to create environments that foster creativity, exploration, and joy in learning. Holt's legacy continues to inspire those who seek a more compassionate and empowering approach to education, reminding us that learning should be a joyful and fulfilling journey for all.

Let's not forget about Grace Llewellyn and her groundbreaking work in the field of education. Llewellyn's book "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" has been a guiding light for many teens who feel trapped in the traditional school system. She advocates for unschooling, a philosophy that trusts in the natural curiosity and ability of young people to direct their own learning. By empowering teens to take control of their education and pursue their interests outside of the classroom, Llewellyn offers a beacon of hope for those of us who crave freedom and autonomy in our learning journey. Her insights remind us that there is another way, a path where we can thrive on our own terms.

There are alternatives to traditional schooling. From self-directed education to online schools, there are plenty of options out there for those of us who crave a different path. It may not be easy, but it's worth exploring if it means reclaiming your happiness and autonomy.

So if you're feeling sad about high school, know that your feelings are valid. You're not alone, and there's nothing wrong with you. Take a deep breath, reach out for support, and remember that there are brighter days ahead.

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: Blog, Commentary on February 24, 2024 @ 7:45 PM


If you like what we're doing here, you can become a Patron and sign up for our newsletter!