Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.
1. The people in charge have all the answers.
That’s why they are so wealthy and happy and healthy and powerful—ask any teacher.
2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.
Your fort building, trail forging, frog catching, friend making, game playing, and drawing won’t earn you any extra credit. Just watch TV.
3. The best and brightest follow the rules.
You will be rewarded for your subordination, just not as much as your superiors, who, of course, have their own rules.
4. What the books say is always true.
Now go read your creationism chapter. There will be a test.
5. There is a very clear, single path to success.
It’s called college. Everyone can join the top 1% if they do well enough in school and ignore the basic math problem inherent in that idea.
6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.
Whistle-blowing, questioning the status quo, and thinking your own thoughts are no-nos. Be quiet and get back on the assembly line.
7. Standardized tests measure your value.
By value, I’m talking about future earning potential, not anything else that might have other kinds of value.
8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.
You are trained from a young age to base your life around dribbles of allocated vacation. Be grateful for them.
9. The purpose of your education is your future career.
And so you will be taught to be a good worker. You have to teach yourself how to be something more.