Parents: Pick which adjective you’d like to describe your child! It’s o.k. to pick more than one. :)
Having an aversion to original thought
Always willing to follow the crowd
Do any of those represent what you want for your kids? I think I know the answer. But then, why do we put them in an environment that will, for many, cut off the “living root”?
Please don’t get me wrong, I LOVE teachers, and believe that the great majority of them are genuinely in love with what they do, and with the kids they work with. Many of them do a phenomenal job at impacting every student they encounter, and many should be considered societal heroes. I would never turn my back on a teacher that I could help, support, or lift up.
My problem is NEVER with educators.
My beef is with the traditional system of school, and the mental hold that it has on the masses. Even in an age when direct evidence against traditional schooling is easily obtained and compiled, the layer of indoctrination is too thick for most people to bare. Stockholm Syndrome at it’s finest. But please, don’t take my word for anything.
Think for yourself…
Sit on your dot. Stay in your desk. Don’t talk. Don’t move. Get back in line. Eyes forward. We aren’t going anywhere until everyone is quiet. Suppress every natural instinct God has given you. (Don’t worry, parents, medication is available if your child refuses to acquiesce.)
There. Now we have you sorted into the “well-behaved” or the “troublemakers”. You’ll likely wear either badge forever, (unless the medication kicks in to get the troublemakers “focused”).
For you that are less submissive, we’ll keep reminding you to sit still, just in case you want to be like the good kids. Maybe a jar of jelly beans or a name on the board will make it make sense.
Aha! Charts. Let’s use charts.
We’ll also elicit your parent’s help. They remember what it was like when they were in those seats. Nothing has changed. They will support us, because it’s just what we are all supposed to do in school.
Never question the institution.
Once you’ve conformed, it’s on to the process of labeling you as “high” or “low”. You’ll figure out very early on in which camp we think you belong, and you will harbor feelings about it one way or another. Those feelings are called instincts, and you’ll be asked to ignore those regularly, until dulled.
Moving on; we have a “standards” agenda that needs to be enacted at precise times, and your ability to peacefully operate within our time-frame will determine whether we use words like “successful”, or phrases like “good-student”. If you can perform tedious and menial tasks in a manner familiar to us, and do them quickly, you’ll be poised for success. This ensures future prosperity in all you do…..we hope. Regardless, obedience and conformity are your priorities while you are here!
This time-frame is also dependent upon you remaining with children of your own age. You might learn to fear or look up to the older students, but you’ll likely never see them as your peers. Don’t worry about that, though, because you’ll have the opportunity to look down upon, or at least consider yourself wiser than the younger age groups. Please pay no mind to the fact that any workplace you’ll ever encounter as an adult would be dismantled in seconds if they were to segregate their teams based upon ages. Here, it’s for “safety”.
Speaking of safety; we’ve seen the patterns whereas cliques and groups band together in order to gain a slight sense of power within an institution that promotes powerlessness, but be encouraged! We will have a surface level rally to battle the system level problem. Good words repeated frequently do a great job of providing a mental shield which combats deep thought, logic, and a change of heart, so; we’ll have to have those rallies often! After all, it’s not up to you, the student, to look for answers to problems or disputes. Always look to an authority for answers. This will alleviate you from having to find answers for yourself.
Back to your schooling. We’ve secured for you a number of fantastic textbooks for this year, that we’ve spent thousands of your parents’ dollars acquiring. They are essentially the same as the last year (and the years prior), but the cover is shiny and chapters have been rearranged for your enjoyment! Besides, we all know that reading (aloud, and in “popcorn” fashion to make it fun) about something in a textbook is far more efficient than actually experiencing it for yourself! It’s risky to step out of a traditional classroom if you want to get an education.
We do realize that you can discover most of this information via a quick internet search, but you’d have no authority figure to explain to you why this information is important at the precise time when you are struggling to find meaning in the information yourself.
The question, “Why do we have to learn this?”, will not be tolerated here.
After all, everyone who has been a 4th grade student in California has undoubtedly benefited from their parents creating a model mission for them to turn in. It shapes who we become, and prepares us for the inevitable challenges in life. Challenges such as building a model mission for your own child when he or she is assigned the exact same project in 4th grade, 25 years from now.
While most of you might agree that you will forget the majority of the academic lessons you are lectured on throughout those formative years, we are sure that school was necessary, and alternative methods of education are solely for the outsiders. Only crazy people would allow their kids to go to bed without doing homework, or without grades to focus on. And parents, you don’t want your friends to think you are doing anything crazy!
Now, let’s get back to chopping at those roots, shall we?
“Schools must fashion the person…in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will”. – Johann Fichte (one of the architects of the Prussian indoctrination system which serves as the foundation for the traditional school design).