As we enjoy a slower, less complicated pace without rushing off to school this August, without breaking our budget on supplies or even new clothes beyond some cheap sweatpants to lounge around in at home, many kids are moving to school from homes where they already feel disconnected due to the authoritarian paradigm.
This paradigm embraces that children must obey and be compliant to adults’ expectations at home and in school, where the rare, compassionate teacher may be the only source they have for feeling valued.
A friend shared a Momastery post on Facebook, imploring teachers to be First Responders in their classrooms. In my experience, and after a decade of this freedom-based whole life evolution lifestyle, kids do not need to be taught. So, what is the most essential role of teachers?
School has become so many things we reject. I share a lot of information in social media about why we choose to learn from life instead, without all of the arbitrary measures, authoritarian conditioning, forced scheduling and homework, and restrictions that delay the development of discernment in kids, making them even more susceptible to peer pressure.
School is indeed an elitist system that punishes people for being different, for not keeping pace, and labels them for life despite their unique gifts.
School defines socialization and pushes conformity in a way that suppresses creativity and expression, and ignores the value of self-directed learning and choice.
School systematically suffocates the individual. Research shows that even valedictorians lack the dimensional capacity desired in professional leadership.
When I meet new people as an adult, I do not care whether or not they hold a high GPA in school, and whether I earned a high GPA is meaningless to them, I would hope. We look to how life experience shapes us, instead.
After school, many young adults struggle to find their place in the world having had so little control over their choices for their entire lives, while by contrast, self-directed life learners carve their pathway as meaningful humans according to their passions, without fear.
Unschooled kids learn that there is always something else they can try, and they are not shamed for their failures. They are given the space free from judgment and standardization requirements to learn from every mistake.
School perpetuates the patriarchal model that feeds misogyny, racism, and economic and social division.
The system readily and repeatedly hammers into the consciousness of every schooled child that they are not equal to adults or to each other. This is not good for society.
The people who deny this fact are hindered by cognitive dissonance, and only the awakened individual will explore these concepts instead of rejecting them, outright.
Teachers who are too attached to their identity as sheep herders will also stop themselves from exploring that their primary roles are based on arbitrary platforms to impart arbitrary information.
The rare teacher will see beyond their prescribed role to embrace a higher calling and won’t take personally the assertion that school damages society.
The life lessons that I learned in my 20s and 30s were painful and delayed my emotional development and competency to make life work for me. School was supposed to have prepared me for life! That is the false promise embraced by society.
Self directed learners gain emotional and social maturity before they become adults because they are allowed to experience real life.
Self directed teens who experience connection with all ages in everyday life – who are not held to arbitrary rules and restrictions or limits – do not need to go through stages of rebellion to establish feelings of control over their own lives. They do not rebel as teens. This is HUGE.
School compartmentalizes children for 12 years of life instead of letting them live life according to whom they are meant to become as interdependent members of community/society.
Children disconnected from their inner, intuitive selves (because they are busy being who they are told to be) become adults who seek happiness through extrinsic means their entire lives, never filling the void that leaves them feeling that they are not enough without the things, the titles, the competition, and other arbitrary measures of life success.
This drives failed marriages, failed professions, addiction, suicide, and depression, and self-denial, among other things. Denial of this process is the biggest symptom.
I’ve read enough work by scholars, psychologists, physicians, researchers, addiction specialists, and even award-winning career-teachers who all arrived at the same conclusion – school discourages connection, and instead imparts a type of competitiveness that centers on the ego – encouraging isolation and hierarchy by advocating kids to seek grades that suggest they are better than others, and places value on performance and extrinsic reward over values, morality, and intrinsic motivation. Parents buy into this as well, focusing on what their kids achieve instead of who their kids are inside.
I say all of that as a high achieving student who took AP courses, received academic and scholarly awards and scholarships, was both privately and publicly schooled, achieved a terminal degree, and ignored my own inner voice and well-being for the sake of scoring high on arbitrary measures.
In real life (which school does a poor job of preparing us for), grades do not matter. The kind of person you are is what matters. We are born to become someone, yet spend our entire lives within the system trying to recover who that someone is – only to learn that we were who we are supposed to be all along and only needed to remember. Save this video in a tab to watch after you finish reading this post for inspiration on how to remember who you were at birth. If you have the intention of being a meaningful human, this video is key viewing.
Any child, no matter whether they are schooled or unschooled requires connection to develop into their higher self as an adult who doesn’t have to heal from their childhood, and who doesn’t weigh heavily on society in the form of drama, trauma, and the aforementioned negative outcomes. This is true at evidentiary levels, including the quantum. #ConnectionsAreEverything
Most parents, teachers, and other adults demand and expect children to comply, obey, and accept what they are taught and told, unquestioningly.
The adults do this for their convenience, and out of their conditioned fears about the future, and also as they continue themselves to obey the statist order of society, often with generational dysfunction. School teaches us to ignore our inner truths, to deny our fundamental needs, and to destroy our inner and natural attunement.
As an artist, my role in society is to speak the difficult and painful truths, to expose our immoral conflicts as human beings. The role of the artist is to provide insight into how we our contributing to a system that breaks human beings – one that fools us into living out mundane lives inside of arbitrary constructs without ever reaching our full potential as spiritual, interconnected, and quantum-powerful beings.
So many will take offense to the things I’ve stated, but that is because school taught them to attach their ego to their beliefs, which is limiting their capacity to consider the objective nature of these points. The denial of these facts by adults and teachers who believe they had extraordinary school experiences are equivalent to seeing life through a lens of privilege.
In this society, with all of its patriarchal childism and adultism and disrespect of kids, where kids with unmet needs learn from their very well-intentioned, but authoritarian-conditioned parents and other adults to control others through power and coercion, the essential role of teachers truly has in many ways become as the Momastery post suggests – as First Responders.
The blog author states simply but profoundly that “ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness.” She talks about a teacher who makes it her priority to seek out the disenfranchised children in her care, suggesting that teachers are the “warriors …the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives.”
She goes on to suggest that teachers save lives, that they are our only hope. By my own school experience, this happens rarely. For me, from K – through my highest degree, there were only two such teachers. I wandered far and long for years after their limited sphere of influence to find my way.
While I admire the idea that teachers can be such warriors and defenders of youth against the very harmful fabric of their professional platforms, I feel it is a sad state of affairs that we need them to take on this role, which I feel belongs first and foremost to parents.
If our society depends on teachers to save children from falling through the very cracks created by the institution caring for them for the majority of their childhoods, it is far beyond time to awaken as a society to the hard truths.
Teachers as superheroes is a romantic notion – a role that only a scant number of role models embrace during a child’s life.
Society has failed to create meaningful change to the school model beyond families like ours that choose to exit the system to do so independently – and the few alternative models that truly reject most patriarchal ideals (Sudbury, for example). Given that, teachers as first responders is a critical notion and may be the potential first-of-its-kind to dismantle some of the harmful aspects of the system, from within.
If only every teacher saw this as their primary role, perhaps meaningful change from within might happen, because as the blog post states to teachers, “you’ve got a million parents behind you whispering together: ‘We don’t care about the damn standardized tests.'” I imagine the rare teacher who gets this is not strong enough alone to overturn the inherent patriarchy that continues to make school a deplorable beast, the proverbial meat grinder.
However, given my family has exited the system to create change – that, is, we aren’t waiting around for replacement of the system; we are not wasting our son’s childhood on a cause that has been underway for decades, to no avail, and has actually continued to worsen – I won’t begrudge the romantic idea of teachers grabbing the reins to spare morality, invoke compassion, spread equality, and provide connection.
I imagine many teachers must put on super hero capes as a self perception in order to cope with their professions given the harsh realities and constrictions they face. The teaching profession is like society – larger in numbers than those creating the arbitrary demands, yet accepting of the oppression, nonetheless.
I don’t have a solution for working from within the system – I took my own show off-road. In another short 6 years (at 16, my child will no longer have to comply with home school law in our state), I don’t anticipate the lot of super heroes will have saved the day for institutionalized children unless they revolt en masse, their capes flying.
In a single decade, I have created more change through cultivating freedom for my child than in anything I’ve done in my entire life time, with the side benefit of exponential personal growth for myself. Six more years will result in a fully non institutionalized teenager who will have an open path before him to do anything he wants, yet with the tools and coping skills to adapt holistically to whatever life presents.
While I have chosen to make certain sacrifices, it has been a relatively seamless journey without regrets. No meat grinder. No forced cohort socialization. No arbitrary curriculum. No stifled creativity. No loss of autonomy. No arbitrary competition. No imprisoned childhood. No cape required.