The Personal Relevance of School

All these teachers tell us, “This class is relevant because it will teach you critical thinking skills.” But is it critical thinking to spit out equations on a worksheet of busywork just for an A? Is it critical thinking to memorize a list of words only to forget it after a quiz?

I want my education to be relevant to me personally. I’m never going to have to graph a cubic function, find significant figures, or balance an equation, but I’m forced to chew and swallow all of those lessons anyways, because they “will help me learn thinking and working skills for real life.” I don’t want to be lied to. I’d rather the teachers straight-up tell me that their class will never be relevant if I’m not going into that specific field. If I could go to school and spend the whole day taking classes that will leave a mark on my life, I would be excited to wake up every morning. Deep down, I love learning. You wouldn’t know it from most of the classes I’m taking, but I do. A love of learning isn’t necessarily indicated by good grades or the timeliness of homework completion. People want to learn different things. Students might even be excited for school every morning if they were allowed to take classes that would fascinate them. Of course, nothing can be fun all the time, and there are certain basic math and science concepts that must be grasped, but can’t there be some way of letting us thrive?

Everybody is curious about something. I believe that everyone really does want to learn. The problem is that we’re not being educated–we’re being schooled.

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