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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

7 Lies Your Teachers Tell You

Most good teachers absolutely despise the bull that's fed about teachers these days. Students are repeatedly told about how noble and special there teachers are for doing their job. This article is meant to help clarify that a bit. There are amazing teachers out there. That being said, there are some miserable ones too. Those miserable ones tend to tell the same lies to there students over and over again.

1. You're not trying hard enough.

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When teachers fail to do there job, they love to put the blame on their students. Teachers love to say that their students need to study or focus better. The truth is, students are only a part of the equation. Too many students spend hours and hours trying to figure out the material they need to learn only to get ridiculed for “not trying hard enough.”

You know if you're not putting in enough effort to succeed. It's a teachers job to inspire a student to want to learn the information. Naturally, that's not always possible but it doesn't excuse them for not trying. Teachers do not know how much effort you put it. There is no reason they can blame you other than to try to alleviate their own guilt.

The teachers job is to help you learn the material. If you're not learning the material, it could be you, or it could be the teacher. The difference is, the teacher is trained and paid to provide an education. You were never taught how to learn.

The teacher knows that motivation is the number of factor. If they fail to motivate you, they shouldn't be blaming you. Education requires both people participating. The teacher is only privileged to seeing their own side of the story. They don't know how much effort you put in.

2. These are the best years of your life.

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Many people that end up teaching enjoyed there time in school. While there are exceptions, most teachers look enviously back at their time in school. That's probably part of the reason they went into that profession in the first place.

For most people, school is not the best time of your life. You're herded into classrooms and forced to learn whatever it is the schools want you to learn. You might get to be with some friends but all your interactions are sterilized by the rules of the school.

Teachers will try to make it sound like you're privileged to be learning this information. To some extent you are privileged but you're not given a choice in the matter. High school is bad. College is a little better. Life is where you're given a choice...

Sure, you can give up and let school be the best years of your life, or, you can step up and make the rest of your life the best. That's all up to you.

3. I'm a martyr.

Teachers are some of the most vocal martyrs there are in this world and students are legally obligated to listen to their complaints all day long. A lot of teachers like to pretend they're suffering for your good. They'll talk about the long hours they work and the poor pay they get for it but they'll insist they're doing it for the good of their students.

If they're a boring lecturer then they'll insist that there students are poor listeners. If they don't prepare there students for standardized tests then they'll blame the tests. Teachers tend to be completely convinced that they know how to do there job right and everyone else in the world is wrong.

Teachers are not martyrs. They are not volunteers. They're getting paid to do a job that they chose to do. They make good money (accounting for the months off,) and they have great benefits and union protection.

You may be forced to listen to there complaining but you certainly don't have to believe it. A good teacher can have doubts but you certainly shouldn't have to listen to it. (A martyr complaining about being a martyr isn't a martyr.)

4. Being Right Is Fundamental

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Your tests are graded on being right and wrong. Life has very little to do with being right and wrong.

When you step out into the real world it's much more complicated than that. You can't just study a textbook and expect to succeed when you get started.

One of the most important skills that you can develop is a willingness to manage risks and be wrong regularly. Most questions don't have right or wrong answers. People that succeed aren't the ones that are right most. They're the ones that are willing to fail hundreds of times while consistently improving their own abilities.

The hardest part about this is that no one will give you red marks on your paper when your wrong in life. You can be wrong for decades and decades without anyone pointing it out. It's your responsibility to mark up your own life with a red pen.

Don't let teachers get you too hung up on perfection because school is the only place you'll end up using it.

5. College is your best option.

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This lie has been repeated way too many times. Most students that choose to go to college should not be going.

College is not the place to go if you're just trying to figure stuff out. In fact, it's one of the most costly possible options. Most students could travel the world for the same amount of money they pay for a semester in college. Even after that semester in college, most people have no idea what they want to do with there lives.

If you have a plan and know exactly what you want (and it requires a college education) then, by all means, go for it. If you have no idea what you want to do with your life then you should not be going to college. In fact, many students would actually have better terms for their education loans if they waited a few years before heading to college. (Parents go off the federal loans. That can end up saving tons of money.)

College can reduce the volatility of your life but the volatility is where you learn your most important lessons.

6. You're going to need to know this...

It doesn't matter what subject a teacher is trying to teach, they tell you it's going to be absolutely fundamental in your daily life. This is just the teacher projecting their own bias onto the students. Most teachers have not had careers outside of teaching. That means, any claim that the information that their class is relevant is baseless because their only experience is in teaching it. (Of course it's relevant to the teachers daily life. They teach it!)

The majority of the information your teachers are teaching you is not relevant to daily life. Have you ever heard of the show where adult professionals are pitted against the information in a fifth grade textbook? The adults are asked questions that fifth graders can answer but the adults always struggle to answer them. Why is that?

It's because for the past 20-30 years the adults haven't seen that information once. Most of the information you're being taught is going to end up like that. If you become a mathmatician then math will be the only information you remember. If you become a writer then you'll remember language stuff. If you become a barber then you might not remember any of it.

7. You're not important.

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Teachers don't directly tell there students this.

They just represent it in everything they project. The teacher stands in the front of the classroom and teaches the students. The students are required to raise there hands to ask questions. Anyone that talks when they're not supposed to is scolded by the teacher. This is not the way life works.

We are all the teachers and we are all the students. There is no authority figure. Even in an office, while there may be a boss, there is rarely a clear hierarchy. Bosses rely on the employees and employees rely on the bosses. Most teachers might as well be talking to a wall.

This has obvious advantages for the teacher but it also has advantages for the students too. Students don't need to stand up to there teacher. Students don't have to embarrass themselves by not being able to teach something. Students are allowed to sit silently and hide in the shadows.

Life is not so simple. You can only get away with not participating for so long in life. If you're not helping everyone else at the place you work then you'll get fired. If you don't speak to your friends then you'll lose them. In life, the most costly mistake you can make is doing nothing and not standing out. In class, that's what's expected of you.

Not all teachers distill these lies to there students. There are plenty of good teachers out there and that's what this article is all about. You don't have to look at your bad teachers as noble creatures because that's just an insult to the amazing teachers that you have in your life. Bear in mind, not all your best teachers will be in a classroom. 

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