Monday, January 21, 2013

Why I Hate School But I Love Education

Every year for my entire life, except for about five years, I have returned to school in the fall, as a student all the way through my Master's degree and as a teacher for the last 14 years. As a student, August was filled with excitement and anticipation; I love to learn. I love buying new school supplies and back to school clothes. I love selecting classes and the newness of a college campus at the start of the fall semester, even after having been there for years.

"Education is about inspiring one's mind, not filling one's head."

And then the ball drops. For most of my 18 years as student, the month of August gave quickly way to the month of September when reality sank in. With the exception of four teachers in my entire academic career (Mrs. Lutz in 2nd grade, Mr. Zinc in 8th grade, Mr. Bunitsky in 12th grade, and Dr._____ in my senior year of undergraduate), I don't remember feeling inspired, appreciated or respected in school. I don't remember any teachers who had the time to get to know me or plumb the depths (or shallows) of what I knew. I don't remember putting myself into my work to any effect in any classes other than the ones mentioned (well, an 8th grade history teacher appreciated my Egyptian history essay on "The Amon Lady: a Study in Makeup.").

Suli Breaks addresses this clash of expectation and reality in the following spoken word video. Every year students return to school, not really knowing why they are going, not really getting what they need, under the mistaken expectation that school holds the key to an education.

"If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs."

Get to building. Time

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