by Todd Walker
Schools teach many things. These dangerous lessons may not be explicitly taught, but they are definitely ’caught’ by every student – even parents. Good or bad depends which side of the desk you’re on.
As an insider, I’m giving you my top six most dangerous lessons that need to be destroyed before the coming chaos. Before sending me angry comments that this is just another teacher bash session, honestly explore the list with your school aged children or grandchildren at the dinner table. You may be convinced, if they’re allowed to talk freely. As I’ve said before many times, I work with some of the most dedicated, selfless, and knowledgable teachers who aren’t allowed to do the job they are passionate about – to teach.
Ready to be un-schooled? Warning: Unlearning these lessons carry a heavy price tag. But the freedom you discover is priceless.
A.) The Powers That Be knows what’s best for you. Questioning authority – or even worse – resisting TPTB will land you in the re-education compliance camp. Once labeled and drugged, your status and future path is set. Your child knows some of the system’s victims. Just ask.
B.) Learning only takes place in the classroom. Just ask TPTB. Students are taught inside the box. Some teachers encourage outside-the-box thinking. The problem with thinking outside the box is that students don’t have time to even explore the edges. Every minute of their day is planned and spoken for. Even after the last blaring dismissal bell screams, schooling follows them to their bedroom. Homework eats the remains of the day. Forget playing outside (some kids still do that, right?), stomping through mud to the creek to observe crawdads and tadpoles, or reading a book of her choosing for pleasure.
Discovery is replaced with memorizing facts from revisionist historians. We teachers correct ‘wrong thinking’. Constant correcting teaches the student to be dependent on us – the “experts”. Critical thinking dies.
C.) Going to college is your only hope of elevating your worth. TPTB plaster school walls with posters comparing different levels of ‘education’ with earning potential. Why all the one-size-fits-all college propaganda? Our rulers need more debt slaves.
Here’s my advice. If you’re in college now, drop out. If you’re 18, you probably have no idea what you want to do with your life. Don’t buy the lie that you’ll get left behind if you don’t go to college. College will not teach you real world skills. You learn that doing what interests you in the real world. College is pure theoretical. I’ve worked in different fields over my life and have found nothing beats the school of hard knocks. What I learned in college was that I had to perform to get a permission slip to teach kids. It’s a hoop I jumped through. Letters behind our names does NOT qualify us to teach your children.
Alternatives to college until you figure out what you want to do…
- Start a business. Become a producer.
- Travel. Save all your money – you’ve got a job, right – while living in your mom’s basement. Explore places you’ve always wanted to see. Pay attention to the local culture. Ask lots of questions. Take notes in your travel journal. Maybe even self-publish it.
- Volunteer. Not because someone says it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Go help feed hungry people, build shelters, or work the local farmers market – for free. You’ve got low overhead living in your mom’s basement remember. This may not be your career path, but giving without expecting anything in return will expand your horizons, make you thankful, and even make connections for later life. It’s an antidote for self-absorbed navel-gazing.
- Self-educate. Take your education into your own hands. Figure it out. Teach yourself to play an instrument, write computer code, or draw.
- Work in a trade, find a skilled tradesman and become his/her apprentice. Contrary to what you’ve been told by your high school guidance counselor, you don’t start at the top – at least not in the real world.
D.) High Stakes Testing measures your future contributions to the collective. The dirty little secret about state standardized tests is that if your child ‘met the standard’ (passes a subject with a score of 800), little Susie only got 50% of the test questions right. And the parents breathe a sigh of relief and throw a pizza party for kids that score a 50. What kids learn is that vomiting facts and test taking skills are all answer-centered. Problem solving is not taught. It’s hard to when schooling institution’s accreditation (Federal and State money) is on the line. Right answers pay off for good students – the State gets especially giddy. Welcome to Answerland.
Kids in school seem to use a fairly consistent strategy…it is answer-centred rather than problem-centred…
– John Holt – from ‘How Children Fail‘
The ridiculous amount of energy, time, and money spent on High Stakes Testing has kids walking blindfolded into a train tunnel – with their parents cheering them on. These tests do not measure true value.
E.) We own you. Nothing about forced schooling teaches self-ownership. On the contrary, we (the State Collective) dictate what students need to learn, how to dress, what to eat, when to talk, how to obey, how to think, and that you don’t own yourself. You have no right to privacy. We can search you and your possessions without cause anytime. You are under constant surveillance. Even that picture your first grader drew, or the app your high schooler created is fair game in one school district in Maryland. I’m sure this will be a catchy trend. The lesson: You belong to the State.
F.) Learning is separate from living. Some things in life should be dropped. Schooling is one of them. Compulsory schooling is a type of child abuse. Yes, I just went there. Every child that enters school at age 5 will have his or her creativity, curiosity, confidence, individualism, playfulness, independence, intuition, and self-reliance crushed under the school steamroller. It’s painful, but these poor lumps of clay have to be molded into what the State thinks they should be.
What passes for ‘education’ today promotes fear of making mistakes, fear of failing, constant pursuit of everybody-is-a-winner awards (Student of the Month bumper stickers and gold stars, for instance), and conforming to the collective. We group students according to age. They spend their most formative years never exposed to adults or other children outside their age bracket. They are now dependent on the one ‘expert’ standing in front of them to gain all the knowledge they need. Sure, we’ll invite an occasional guest into talk about their job in the real world. But that’s far enough. These commoners don’t possess the credentials to ‘teach’ kids – anything.
If you’re curious, here’s a list of people who quit being schooled and ended up doing something with their lives.
- William Faulkner – dropped out of high school
- Walt Disney – high school drop out
- Wilber and Orville Wright – never graduated. They tinkered with things.
- Richard Branson – Branson’s dyslexia caused him a great deal of trouble as a student, so when he was 16 he left school to go into business for himself.
- Thomas Edison – Dropped out of school to be taught at home – over 1,000 patents followed.
- Albert Einstein – Dropped out at age 15. He later went back to get a diploma so he could enter the university. He failed the entrance exam twice.
- Colonel Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped out of elementary school.
If you’ve attended, or you have children in public schools, the chances are very high you need to unlearn these dangerous lessons. Un-schooling your mind is your first step in becoming prepared.
I have hope and confidence in the human spirit. Once freed, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.