You Deserve More Respect Than What Public School Gives You


     Have you ever known anyone who was home or cyber schooled? Total weirdos, right?  They never fit in with people their age. At least, they didn’t back in high school. But recently I’ve started to see the other side of the story. While I spent my “educational” years surrounded by prepubescent boys and teachers complaining about their salaries, these “weirdos” were actually learning. The thing is they were not the weirdos at all, just something others their age couldn't understand… mature, educated and driven.
 
     I’ve recently been doing a lot of reflecting on how I spent 12 of my most impressionable years sitting in a classroom, wishing I was anywhere else. I sit here today and wonder, where would I be now if I had the freedom that came with learning on my own time. And would I still be saying “my own time” as if for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week for 12 years my life I was owned by someone else.
 
     An instance that comes to my mind was my senior year sitting in personal finance class. My teacher was reviewing the same redundant power point he’s been teaching from for the last 9 years. This information was nothing new to me so I decided to focus on a subject I actually enjoyed. I took out the book, “The Glass Castle” something I had to read for English class and one of the few assignments I didn’t detest. While most of my classmates played games on their laptops while pretending to take notes, I thought, “At least I’m doing something productive.” I did this for a few days until my teacher had called on me, asking me to answer the question on the screen. Obviously I couldn’t because I hadn’t actually paid attention for the past week. He stopped the whole class and everyone stared at me. When teachers do this, its an act to try to embarrass you into paying attention by calling you out in front of your peers. “I don’t know, I haven’t been paying attention.” Then he gave me the most predictable response possible, “You are not going to do this on my time.” But how is it I managed to pass his class with and A average without paying  ANY attention? Easy, memorization. When it came time for the test I would memorize the study guide and notes in my free period before class. Aced it. I believe this is what bothered my teacher the most. It was proof that his lessons from the past 4 weeks that took up 47 minutes my day, could be taught in less than an hour.
 
     I had always felt like teachers would fly through subjects I didn’t understand and take weeks on subjects that seemed like common sense. I often wonder if I could have had more success in my high school career, had I been learning more valuable things at my own pace.
 
     I am not saying everything that is taught in public school is invaluable. But after being told what to learn for 12 consecutive years you start to tune things out. As a 16-year-old kid, you want control over your knowledge and how you spend your time. You begin to realize that your time is becoming more valuable and deserves more respect than what public school gives you.
 
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