For years we have heard the mantra that ‘If you can read this, thank a teacher” thrown at us from bumper stickers and signs everywhere. Of course the school system will surely not broadcast so loudly their failings- the brainwash, the intimidation, the browbeating, the systematization of everything possible.
If they ever did, here is what these bumper stickers would look like:
If you are so robotic that you have no will of your own, thank a teacher.
If you are working at Walmart because you always believed that only other people can tell you what to do, how to do it and when to do it, thank your educational system.
If school shootings happen because a system of education ignores the anger made from bullying, intimidation and repression, thank a School Principal.
If you have been so conditioned by school indoctrination that it is impossible to think outside the box, thank a teacher.
If you were intimidated by a ‘good ole boy’ system that patted bullying jocks on the back and looked the other way when they exercised their ‘right’ to dominate and harass at schools, thank a school administration.
If you have come to believe that only the A students and the athletes count for anything in a society, thank your school system.
If you can do nothing creatively but only copy what others do, thank an education system.
If you cannot exercise your own free will without fear, thank your schooling.
If you are obese, unhealthy or have bad posture due to sitting in a chair all day without any physical exercise, thank an educational policy plan.
If you are so intellectually trained that you can only think in one dimension, thank a school curriculum.
If you have been so skilled in a narrow, specialized field that if it were to become obsolete you would be permanently unemployed, thank a school system.
If your self esteem is down around where your shoes should be due to being brow beat throughout school, thank a teacher.
If you have been molded into believing that life after high school is nothing more than an extension of the rigid social structure of what you experienced there- ie. only some people can be popular, authority figures determine your whole life, that certain sports, arts, careers, social groups, etc. are only for a privileged elite, then thank a fossilized learning system.
If you cannot understand anything outside the confines of your own community, religion, nation or political party, thank a school system.
If you have been conditioned to being a tool of a system that only recognizes a hierarchy of football players, cheerleaders and other sports personnel as being the heights of society, thank your school.
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For an expert look at what is wrong with our school system and what needs to be done about it, read Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto, a former Teacher Of the Year nominated by the New York School System. Everyone who has ever been educated in America should read it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently bumpers are significantly wider where this author lives.