I Dreaded the School Environment as a Young School Kid
Growing up, as is the case with many children in school today, the academic environment gave me a downright traumatizing experience. From 3rd grade forward, school was one of those places that made me feel like even more of an outcast than I already felt.
Besides being the weird kid that chose to play all by herself under the slide with bugs rather than with her peers (and therefore had no ‘real friends’), I was also the kid that couldn’t do one damn thing right in the classroom. I was “out to lunch”, in “another world” and not ever “working up to my potential”.
The School and I Were Like Two Parallel Lines
School never interested me. I hated it, yet I became a teacher. And no, I did not choose the teaching profession as a way to heal my inner child or to make school a more enjoyable experience for children that are much like I was back then. Nope. But I will tell you more about that later.
As a ‘weird kid’, I had strengths that our school system will never give the slightest consideration or value, nor take the time to understand. Of course, the academic Olympics were NOT my thing, but dammit, persevering certainly was (I mean, if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have earned a Master’s degree and the other achievements that I am celebrated for today). I am also able to see beauty where most people believe there is none. I see opportunities for unity and peace even in the most putrid of situations.
My Life Began with a True Self-Discovery – OUTSIDE the School System
At school, it didn’t matter how much faith people had in my potential (even to this day that word makes me want to puke). The fact that so many of them were paying attention to my failure was enough to make me want to run fast and far away. A daily barrage of statements like “she’s being lazy” later turned into “she’s outright defiant”. Teachers would tell me and my low-performing peers that they didn’t really see the point of wasting energy on us. We were bound to work for McDonald’s for the rest of our lives.
But a true self-discovery made me realize my true worth. The school system played no role in that…
It amazes me that, even these days, when I am out running with my dog, I can sense a presence within the forest that resonates with every cell in my body. I know what it means to heal from the inside out, starting from a cellular level. I am able to work with a person, help them discover what their strengths are, and how to heal by using the body as a guide, and by sensing the connection to all things. No school can teach that for sure!
The fact is, in the school environment, I was clueless. I was completely lost, back then, and I didn’t even know how to ever catch up. I felt anxious and was willing to do anything to leave the situation.
So many policies have been put in place over the years. Still, one thing remains unchanged – the fact that many school children go to class every single day and STILL feel misunderstood, are berated, bullied, and put down in a place that is supposed to be their safe-haven.
The Unfair Marginalization that Current Exists Within the School System
My personal experience, has led me to think very critically about our educational system. As an educator, it has given me the background knowledge that I need to be able to say, with absolute authority, that our education system is failing not only our children but our society as a whole.
Education trends such as the “growth mindset” bandwagon, even though we may see it as differentiation, is only another flavor of marginalization…casting academic Olympics competitors treated preferentially above the rest of the pack, while the “bottom-feeders” and “lazy bums” that show up every day are told, “Hey, man…I know you can’t compete in the academic Olympics this year. You just need to TRY HARDER!”
By the way…when we use words like “try” and “hard” in education, it’s casting a vote for hope. Hope is just a slap in the face for those that need legitimate help (more about that later).
My Lil Piece of Advice for You
You want my advice? Listen to your child. I don’t mean when they talk, listen to them with your ears. I mean, truly sit with them. Learn what is unique about them. Allow them to teach you what it is that is unique about them and take the time to celebrate those beautiful things about them. I do dare say that today’s classroom environment is not conducive to learning for all children, and it is truly up to the parent to decide what will make their child successful in their future. Our children need to get a grasp on what their strengths are NOW so that they can use those strengths to contribute to society more wholly in the years to come.
Love, Laugh, and LEARN out LOUD! <3