"Are you sick of being whipped by evil teachers? There is another way with new Schoolaway..."

When I was kid, I was damned sick of it. I was strong enough to rebel against it. To this day I still take pride in all the retaliatory disruption I caused to the system. I take pride, to this day, in all the times I was suspended. I got thrown out for good when I was 15, and joined the Army. They were trying to break my spirit and stifle my intellect. At least the Army was honest about it. When the Army told me something was good for me, it actually was. When the school told me something was good for me, it was actually for their convenience or the convenience of society. I can't think of anything that has done me more psychological damage than compulsory state schooling, more so than a year of combat in Vietnam.

Ironically, I'm a teacher at a junior college nowadays, and have 20+ years experience teaching math. I REFUSE to teach forced students. That's why I don't teach K-12, though I'm sure I could do a good job of it.

The purpose of K-12 is not to educate but to indoctrinate, with education thrown in as a by-product or sideline. All compulsory education is designed that way. When I was in college, I read the ed. majors texts and sure enough, a lot of the emphasis was on how to produce "well-adjusted" students who conform to societal expectations, not necessarily to turn out competent, happy people. Their idea of "well-adjusted" was way skewed, in my opinion. I think the rebel kids were the most healthy and probably still are.

When I teach, I use a Socratic method. I open with a question - why is something or how do we do something, or what exactly is a certain mathematical entity. I tell the students they have to drill and practice certain things, but that's their responsibility not mine. If they want to do good mathematics or understand modern physics, they have to understand certain underlying concepts at a deeper level than just memorizing facts.

I'm not an easy teacher for someone who doesn't want to think. I often/usually answer students' questions with other questions they can answer and that lead them to the answer they seek to their original. Those who don't want to think, usually drop my class. I'm damned happy they are not compelled to stay.

If there is any one reform we could do to most improve society, it would be to end the compulsoriness of state education. I remember deliberately failing assessment tests, other times doing quite well, just to f--- with the teachers. I'm sure there are a lot of students like that in state schools nowadays. I wonder how many deliberately fail.

I don't understand how I could manage to sit for hours at a time when I was a kid in state school. The good thing about my job now is that I'm on my feet most of the day. When I had a sit-down job as a software engineer, I would sit for hours engrossed in a programming puzzle. If the state school had allowed me to read about science and math all day long, I could have handled the prolonged sitting. ( I 'd read math & science texts for fun.)

I've taught teachers. They've been among my worst (and best) students. Years ago, in a basic computer skills class for teachers, someone lodged a complaint against me with my department chair, for not telling them exactly what to do. I would tell them to look at a certain menu bar or ask them where they think they should look to solve the problem. I was teaching them to solve problems on their own, because I wouldn't be there to help them in real life. Certain ed majors would have nothing of it. And these are the ones teaching our kids.

The standardized testing is not the problem. I welcome standardized testing to prove how effective I am as a teacher. The problem is the compulsoriness of K-12. One can't teach someone who doesn't want to learn.