Disengaged to Lifelong Learner
Thoughts of Michael
Did I ever tell you I dreaded school growing up? I couldn’t stand it. There was just nothing there for me. It was all meaningless.
I disliked writing essays. I just didn’t care.
I disliked science classes. We sat in rows staring at textbooks. I could care less about chemical equations, especially when I had no connection to them. It would’ve helped to actually see a chemical equation, a reaction, to observe something real.
I disliked my Art class. All I remember was drawing lunch bags, using cross-hatching. I’m sure we did other things but this is permanently cross-hatched into my mind.
I was in band and played percussion. It was fun when I got a chance to play on the drum kit. When I didn’t, the triangle just didn’t cut it.
I loved Math until I didn’t.
My school had no Drama classes, no Film classes. Nothing that teased out my creative spirit.
I dreaded Mondays like the plague. I couldn’t wait to be finished high school.
….And I’m a teacher now! Bizarre, isn’t it? And I love so many things about teaching.
….And I love learning.
I didn’t like school until about my second year of post-secondary studies when I finally studied things I really cared about and connected with - Drama, Film, and Visual Arts. These subjects ignited something in me. They gave me fuel.
Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to make up for my bad experience in high school. I see disengaged students and I think, “there’s an opportunity to help shift someone’s thinking.”
It pains me to see someone not enjoy school. But I understand. Being a teenager can be complicated.
I want to reach out and say, “It’s ok. Things will get better. Find something you get excited about. Grab onto it and give it a try!”
Learning is hard, though.
It’s work. It’s full of failure and mistakes and it’s messy.
But the fact that it’s hard and it’s work makes it fun!
Work is fun.
And now it’s Friday, and the weekend is coming. Being with family will be wonderful. Having a break from pushing and guiding, cajoling and explaining.
And when Monday rolls around, it’ll be ok. There will be no dread in my stomach. Because I like my job and my students.
And June is almost here too. I won’t lie, it helps. It’s been a challenging year.
And on the last day, like every last day of every school year, I’ll walk home feeling like the luckiest person alive. And I’ll try not to rub it in.
PS. If you know someone who could connect with this, please share. It’s never too late to start learning.
Strangely, if you took band you didn’t have to take Phys. Ed (P.E.) That was a relief! But I love physical activity as an adult.
I now so appreciate Writing and Literature, Science and Math, the Arts! Without these, the world would be pretty dull. And without Science, we’d all be living in fear under a rock, and wearing masks until the ends of our days.