Now that school is starting back up, let's take a moment to think back on those glory days fondly... Just kidding. School is good for us, we know that, but some aspects of it are undeniably awful.
So in the spirit of camaraderie with a little bit of what students will be heading into this 2020/2021 school year, let's talk about some of the things that just plain suck.
One Reddit user asked:
Time for a walk down traumatic school memory lane, folks!
Bathroom Breaksmonsters inc pee GIF Giphy
When the teacher says you couldn't go to the bathroom because "bReAkTiMe WaS 5 mInS aGo!!" For literally any grade. It's doesn't make sense especially with younger grades. When a 6 year old says they need to go to the bathroom. It's not a question, it's a warning.
And then no one explaining that you don't need to ask to go to the bathroom in college!
With my social anxiety freshman year of college, I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom. Ahhhh, people laughed!!!! I felt so stupid. The teacher was like, "oh, you don't need to ask that here." I think I stayed in the bathroom till after the class ended. I couldn't go back in after that.
That always got me. Especially when your previous class is all the way across campus, you only get a couple of minutes to move between the classes and fight your way through hundreds of other students. Even if you tried to hit the bathroom then, there would be a line out the door. If you're late for the next class you're in trouble no matter what the excuse is.
I see so many teachers like that even in high school when they expect you to use the bathrooms between class periods but a) there's barely enough time to get to class and b) the boys' bathrooms are... indescribable, and not in any good way
Playing Catch Up
Being lost in a subject and not being able to catch back up.
Had that happen to me in algebra and it eventually got so horrible trying to keep up with the juniors and seniors (I was a freshman), i ended up just sleeping in that class and spending every night doing my homework three times over.
I can relate in elementary school. I had to take a sh*t while my math teacher was explaining long division.
Let me tell you I was lost when I came back. I sucked so hard at long division. Then something similar happened again in the 6th grade. When they were explaining two and multi step equations I had to go down to the office to get something and again I was totally lost. I got the hang of it tho - like 3 weeks later.
The homework - because apparently 7 hours of school isn't enough.
Especially since results from countries that cut out or reduced homework showed marked improvements in outcomes. Turns out that they should be teaching you when you're in school and that personal free time is actually good for kids mental wellbeing. Who knew eh?
Especially when you reach high school and get hit with "I think an hour of homework a night is perfectly reasonable" multiplied by 5 other teachers all saying the exact same thing.
For some reason, my children have SO much more homework today than I had growing up. Society complains about kids being inside so much and not getting exercise, being on devices, etc., but look past the fact that they have to do 3 to 8 pages of (common core), math, read 20 pages and do a 5 paragraph essay, study for a test every night, and have to have a perfect wardrobe. Hell, I went to school in pajamas sometimes.
All For One
When teachers punish a whole class because of the actions of one /a few students. Just because the class idiot can't behave, it does not mean I should miss my break.
Had a teacher cancel movie day because of a few bad eggs, then pull me aside and tell me she wished there was a way she could have just punished the bad kids and let me and the other "good" kids watch the rest of the movie. Wow, such a shame that's totally impossible, right?
They're preparing you for the working world, where one person screws up and everyone else has to attend a damn meeting about why you shouldn't do what you weren't dumb enough to do in the first place.
You know why they do that? Someone admitted it to me my first year of high school. They do it so the other students get mad at you and isolate you. Your punishment isn't just missing break, it's social rejection. Ain't that a trick?
Health Snacks, Healthy Mind
Teacher here. The thing I hate the most is when kids come to school hungry, with dirty clothes, or on edge first thing in the morning because they've had a sh*tty night.
Breaks your heart. The best thing to do is greet every student, treat them with kindness (but not pity), and keep a good stash of healthy snacks in your classroom.
I remember after one particular bad series of days, I came into my first period English class pretty late, still dirty from a soccer game the night before, hungry, and completely exhausted. My teacher, who was sick of my constant tardiness, absolutely laid into me. I broke down crying, and she knew something was up because that was highly out of character for me.
Her whole demeanor shifted. She told me to go into her office. She put on the Count of Monte Cristo movie for the class and came back to speak to me. I told her everything that was going on in my life, and she was super compassionate. She gave me some clothes that her son had left in her office, told me to go shower and change in the locker room, and when I came back she had a whole breakfast laid out for me in her office. I cried again because I had honestly forgotten what genuine compassion felt like.
I'd say that moment saved me from going to a very very dark place mentally at far too young of an age. She changed my life.
Hoursclock GIF Giphy
The amount of hours I'm expected to put into it and still have time for extracurricular activities AND 8 hours of sleep -and the backlash I get when that didn't happen.
Like I'm sorry; it's not my fault that after 7 hours of school all 8 of my teachers expect me to set aside an hour for their subject alone after I get home, since to each of them no other subject is nearly as important or matters at all. It doesn't matter that I don't even get home until 6pm or even 8:30 pm on certain days of the week since I need to represent the school in academics, athletics, and the arts, and that once I do get home I have two dogs and two siblings to care for and help with their school work before I can even do my own and care for my own body, before finally getting to bed and starting the day again.
I APOLOGIZE for finally getting to bed around 4am and not getting 8 hours asleep, I've been a bit busy trying to not flunk out of high school, please my parents and colleges, and taking care of the people and pets in my life that can't take care of themselves on their own. My bad, my bad.
Teach To The Test
I hated being forced to learn things just for tests. I loved learning about stuff, but I felt like I was only being taught so that I could pass the tests.
All through school, I'd go home, skip my homework, read about physics and space and watch science documentaries. This resulted in me getting horrible grades in high school, and that was extremely harmful to my self esteem. I wanted to major in physics, but I didn't think I was smart enough, so I majored in engineering in community college because I wasn't accepted anywhere else.
Then I transferred to a major university, and I immediately started doing horribly because more engineering specific courses were suddenly really boring to me. And then one of my friends convinced me to switch to physics, and I figured, "what have I got to lose?" Now I'm a senior in physics, and my grades are higher than they've ever been in my life.
Seriously, fck grade school. It has the worst setup it could possibly have. It's demotivating, harmful, and teaches people that learning is nothing more that a forced chore. Learning is so important, and grades can destroy our desire to learn.
And it was pretty much an endless series of tests. So once you got done learning stuff for one test, you'd pretty much forget most of it so you could study for the next test. It was a horrible way to learn things and actually test someone's knowledge.
The dumb rules to "test" you on things. Like why do I need to memorize these huge formulas when in the real world, I'll be allowed to use a reference book? As long as I know when and how to use the formulas should be good enough right? I shouldn't need to have them memorized.
I took a class where all of our grades were paper and project based, no quizzes or tests at all (not even a final exam), and I loved it so much and I did very well in that class, AND I learned a lot from it too. Not having to memorize a bunch of bullshit meant I had more time to really explore the material in depth.
Life Decisions About Bathrooms
How you're expected to make major life changing decisions but still need to ask for permission to use the bathroom.
A 16 year old is allowed to drive a car but can't use the bathroom unless they ask, and a lot of teachers only allow you to use the bathroom 3 times per term. going to the bathroom is a very dangerous act
The fact they claimed to be no tolerance against bullying. Was bullied everyday from the age of 8 to 16. No matter how many times I told someone the only responses I got were
"Just ignore them"
"Don't react and they'll get bored"
"Have you tried making friends with them?"
And my all time favourite....
"Maybe they have a crush on you??"
At 26 I haven't recovered the confidence, the self-esteem, the happiness, the person that I could have been if the school had just helped.
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