Daryl Jace

Teacher, Blogger, Poker player.

My problems with education in the US

There is a lot of problems with the education system in the US and everyone knows this, so I won't bore you with the same points you probably heard a million times. Instead I wanna just share my story and experience with school/education. I think my experience is pretty unique, I went from 7th grade dropout who hated anything remotely related to education to actually wanting to become a teacher/educator above all else. From hating learning to being obsessed with it.  


Of course I hate that schools do stuff like standardized testing, memorization of stupid facts, kill creativity etc. ad infinitum but what I think was most disastrous about school to me is that it led me to believe that learning wasn't fun. I learned in school that history is about  collecting  useless facts, but what it actually is is a collection of some of the most amazing/interesting stories i've read/heard. I learned that writing was about abiding to a bunch of rules  that didn't make sense ( I failed english in 7th grade), but what it's actually about is expressing/consolidating your thoughts/ideas on paper, and unleashing your creativity (obv leaving out a lot of other cool things about writing). 


I learned that reading books ( esp non fiction) was just about the dumbest thing a person can do, it was about remembering what was written so you can pass a test or write a book report. Much much later, after much convincing from my wife I finally tried a book, and I found when you're not reading to pass a test and when its about something that interests you that its a really relaxing and enjoyable experience. Science was the same memorization of stupid facts and then I heard Neil Degrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Richard Feynman and I was hooked. I can go on but I think you get the point.


I wish that in history that they just told me stories, that in language arts I learned to write stories about things I cared about, that when I was given books to read they would be books about stuff I was interested in and that I didn't have to pass a test afterwards, and I wish in science that they would of just shown the awesomeness of it. 


I want school to be a place where I know that when I drop off my kids there that they are deepening/growing their love of learning and there sense of wonder. All I want for them to finish school with the same zeal for knowledge that I have now. The world is an amazing place, learning is really fun and the fact that  kids like myself  are taught the opposite in school is the biggest failure to me by far by the educational system.  


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