School Survival


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Why Does School Make Me So Angry?

School. It's supposed to be the place where we learn and grow, where we prepare for our futures. But for many of us, it's a place of frustration, anxiety, and anger. If you're like me, you might find yourself asking, "Why does school make me so angry?"

John Taylor Gatto, a renowned educator, once uncovered the harsh truth about the true purpose of schools. He believed that schools were not designed to educate us for our benefit, but rather to indoctrinate us into a system that serves the interests of those in power. Gatto argued that the rigid structure of traditional schooling stifles creativity and critical thinking, leaving students feeling trapped and resentful.

And then there's Peter Gray, who shed light on the importance of play in learning. He emphasized that children learn best when they are given the freedom to explore and experiment, when they can engage in activities that are meaningful and enjoyable to them. But in most schools, play is relegated to recess or dismissed entirely, replaced by hours of lectures and worksheets that drain the joy out of learning.

So why does school make us so angry? It's because the system is designed to control rather than nurture our natural curiosity and love for learning.

Human beings have an innate desire for autonomy and self-determination. When we feel like our choices and decisions are being dictated by external forces, whether it's parents, teachers, or societal expectations, it can trigger a sense of frustration and resentment. This loss of control over our own lives can manifest as anger.

Being controlled often involves the infringement of personal boundaries. Whether it's someone invading our physical space, dictating our actions, or imposing their beliefs upon us, feeling like our boundaries are constantly being violated can elicit strong emotional responses, including anger.

Feeling controlled can also evoke a profound sense of injustice. When we perceive that others are wielding power over us unfairly or unjustly, it can ignite feelings of indignation and outrage. This sense of being treated unfairly can fuel our anger and prompt us to resist against the perceived oppressor.

Constant control and micromanagement can undermine our self-esteem and self-worth. When others constantly question our abilities, criticize our choices, or belittle our achievements, it can erode our confidence and trigger feelings of inadequacy and frustration. This assault on our self-esteem can contribute to feelings of anger and resentment towards those exerting control.

Feeling controlled can leave us feeling powerless and helpless, as if we have no agency or influence over our own lives. This sense of powerlessness can be deeply distressing and can fuel feelings of anger as a way to assert our autonomy and reclaim a sense of agency.

Laurie A. Couture, a parenting coach, offers insights into what parents can do to support their children in this hostile educational environment. She advocates for a radical shift in parenting, one that focuses on empathy and trust rather than coercion and punishment. Couture encourages parents to listen to their children, to validate their feelings, and to advocate for their needs within the school system.

But what if traditional schooling just isn't working for you? What are the alternatives? Fortunately, there are options. Self-directed education, where students have the freedom to pursue their interests at their own pace, can be a liberating alternative to traditional schooling. Online schools offer flexibility and autonomy, allowing students to learn from the comfort of their own homes.

If you're feeling angry and frustrated with school, know that your feelings are valid. You are not alone, and there's nothing wrong with you. The system is broken, but there are ways to navigate it and find what works best for you. Remember, your education is about more than just grades and test scores – it's about discovering who you are and what you're passionate about. And that's something worth fighting for.

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: Blog, Knowledgebase, Questions on February 23, 2024 @ 7:33 PM

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