Un-teaching Teachers

written by Dianne Linderman on

Did you start out in life being a carefree, fun-loving kid, kind of like a wild animal, with a lot of freedom to discover, explore and become the ultimate adventurer?  Life was so good when you were three or four years old.  Then one day, when you were about five years old, you were swept up by a parent and taken to a big, brick building where they left you for an entire day.   And that was it; life as you knew it ended!  Your freedom was turned into a sort of enslavement to a chair tucked under a table with the rules repeated over and over by someone you had never met before.  This stranger, called “a teacher,” talked to you and the other kids who were left there too as if you were all the same person, even though all of you were different.  With the same words and same tone, she kept telling you to stay in your chair until she gave you permission to move to a new location, where you were instructed to stay until she told you to move again.

She sang the rules, the calendar, the numbers and even the alphabet!  You got to play until she told you it was time to go back to your chair where you had to sit again until the bell rang and even then you couldn’t go until the stranger, the teacher, told you to go! You went into shock because one day you were an explorer and the next you were captured by strangers and put in a strange place where expectations were immediately put upon you that you didn’t understand. You asked, “Why can’t I be an explorer, why can’t I discover, why can’t I be the ultimate adventurer anymore?  Now I have to learn what they want me to learn, in their time, sitting in their chair tucked under their table.” Your parents told you, along with the stranger, that this was life and everyone had to follow the rule to make it in life.  So you started believing in the rule that mysteriously appeared but was not really written down anywhere.  You noticed that all of the adults submitted to this unwritten rule and their kids submitted to this rule because their parents said so, but the small voice inside you still wanted to be the free thinking explorer that you knew you could be.

Soon every waking day of your life began to look like every waking day, and the rule that you learned when you were five never left you alone to be that explorer or that ultimate adventurer.   You became like the teacher and your parents, obeying the un-written rule as was expected of you and that you never questioned!

Throughout your life you have noticed that every time you try to break out of your every waking day routine and come up with an idea, the unwritten rule is constantly hovering over you along with all of your now grown classmates telling you that you are not following the rule and you won’t make it without the rule. They remind you that, to make it in life, you must obey the rule! Unless someone directs you, you wait and wait, and life goes by and you’re still sitting in the chair tucked under the desk!

Teachers can’t help it.  They all learn from the same teachers, and the cycle never ends, never improves, and never allows the teachers to be free to inspire. They can only teach by the rule and keep the herd mentality alive, never allowing the students to break away from the chair tucked under the desk, because this environment is safe and turns out safe followers who don’t cause problems and are manageable!  God forbid, if someone were to break out of this environment and question the rule and have an interest.  What would a teacher do?  The teachers have not had the training to deal with a real explorer or a real adventurer; they have been taught to call them trouble-makers and to call their parents to remind them of the rule and the cycle starts over again!

When will we realize that all of our kids start out as passionate entrepreneurs, explorers and adventurers who teach themselves how to walk and talk?   What makes us believe that they are not capable of discovering education at its finest without the unwritten rule that our teachers have been unknowingly harnessed with and have brought into America’s classrooms because they come from a long line of teachers who have been taught by the same rule forever and ever.  We owe it to our future to free our children’s spirits to become leaders, patriots, entrepreneurs, explorers and ultimate adventurers so that our great country can have new fearless, principled and authentic leadership!  Somehow teachers have been an authority in all of our lives, and they themselves don’t know that they have been trained to teach the rule without question, and so the dumbing down of America’s children takes on a life of its own.  Question everything and everyone, beginning with teachers.  Some will find it in themselves to step outside of their boxes and learn to un-teach their students, inspiring them to be explorers and adventurers who can discover a world of freedom from the rule!

  • Teresa

    Boy, have you hit the nail on the head! I cried EVERYDAY my first 2 years of school because I KNEW I didn’t belong there. I remember the absolute terror I experienced when I failed a test (3rd grade) because I had misunderstood how to fill-in my answers… I can still see the ugly teacher’s smirking face! This was only the beginning of 12 years of public school torture. Somehow I made it through without losing my “free spirit” & went on to attend college…I know, I know! (It was more my parents’ dream). I thought that it would be different, that my uniqueness & original take on the world would be encouraged. Ha Ha on me! I was an Art major & spent most of my time questioning & challenging the opinions & teachings of most of my professors… I was told more than once that I had a big mouth. I received a BA in Art Education simply because it was the fastest route OUT of school without “wasting” my parents’ money, & summer’s off sounded good to me. I lasted 3 years as a high school art teacher. It wasn’t a problem with the kids – they were eager to explore & create, figure things out for themselves. No, it was the ADMINISTRATION that didn’t take kindly to me & my “independent” style of teaching – the way we all learn best, by being free to try things out in OUR OWN WAY, not forced into someone else’s idea of who or what we should be. I could write pages about it… Intuitively, I knew the best way to reach & help my students, but I must admit that much of the university brainwashing had gotten into me, & I too, unwittingly became a brain-washer, & I’m sorry for that. So, you are right about needing to “un-teach.” The problem is most people aren’t aware it IS a problem, & if they are, many just don’t want to be bothered. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as I’m at a point in my life where I feel the need to DO SOMETHING to awaken people & get this country back… I think un-teaching might be part of the answer. Thanks for all you do.

    • Laila

      Most health celssas are taught by PE teachers, so what you want to do probably isn’t the best choice.Special Ed is what is needed, but you have to be able to handle it.Lots of paperwork, but also, lots of kids who will do anything for you.If anything, I agree with a double major. Get what you want, but have a fall back plan.

  • Sabriinaa

    Cowgirl I know! I almost wish we just did it dnruig the day, but I guess doing it from 1-9 helps all the working parents. Every slot I had was FILLED. Nothing crazy happened to me, but a woman tried telling my coworker that the way we teach freshmen how to write a paragraph is wrong, and it’s too stifling etc etc. She just wouldn’t stop being rude about it! One other parent (of my coworker’s student) didn’t even talk about her kid…she just cried about her divorce. How sad!

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