The first rule of high school.

4 Mar

Something that frequently worries me about education at every level is the eagerness with which youngsters are willing to take on the beliefs and values of their influencers.

I often credit my 6th Form English teacher, Mr Bolton, as the reason I became a writer. Sure, he was young, intelligent and engaging. But most of all, he was the only teacher that ever took the time to relate to me not as a student, but as a male teen (a potential future adult. A potential future writer, even). He certainly wasn’t the only adult that influenced my educational pathway, nor the only teacher. But for whatever reason, his is the name that comes to mind when the – who was your favourite teacher? – question arises.

Most other aspects of high school I found incredibly difficult to relate to. I couldn’t bear the structure, or the institution. It riled me up and politicised me in a way I haven’t experienced since. Being a teenager, I had no concept of the fact there were other options – ones that might be better suited to me. Had I known, at the time, of Auckland’s Senior College (which allows its students far greater freedom), I’d have been there in an instant.

Which is a really long way of saying: I wish my high school had been progressive enough to count Palahniuk’s Tyler Durden a worthy philosophical mind. I suspect they’d have preferred to treat him as a dissident.

And while we’re on the subject. How about demonstrating the relevance of literature/film to the universal human experience at every touch point – in the hallways, in the classrooms, even in the playground? What an incredible way to impress valuable culture upon such eager and open young minds.


One Response to “The first rule of high school.”

  1. aimee March 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    See you later Mark Twain.

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