John Taylor Gatto Against School

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While I love learning, I am not the biggest fan of school. Seven hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year for twelve years- it can get a bit repetitive. I know that a good education is key to accomplishing the things that dream of, but I also know that there are accomplishing those things is not contingent upon being the top student in the traditional schooling system that I am a part of. In his essay, “Against School”, John Taylor Gatto argues that success in life is not only not contingent on succeeding in traditional school, but hindered by one’s very participation. One of his strongest arguments is that “well schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom.” (Gatto 6) While I wholeheartedly agree with Gatto’s claim, I would argue …show more content…
I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear teachers tell students to put their phones away in class or how many times I see full lunch tables where every student is on his/her phone. I am not as consumed in my electronics as many of my peers and it always baffled me as to why, when surrounded by friends and classmates, many students’ still felt the need to connect with others online. I now understand that just a teachers use “busy work” simply to fill their students’ time, the students use their electronics. I now find it extremely ironic when I think back to my sophomore year science teacher. He gave out more work than all of my other sophomore teachers combined. For some reason, whenever there wasn’t something going on in his class, even for a second, students would whip out their phones. I believe that because there was always work to be done in that class, the students felt that they always had to be doing something. So in the rare moments that there was nothing to do, they would fill their time with Twitter and Instagram because it felt more like work than chatting with your …show more content…
At advanced schools like Minnetonka, your peers are your competition. You are all fighting for the same college acceptances and not everyone is a winner. Today’s schools teach that in order to emerge victorious, you must always be moving. Any second that you are resting, someone else is doing that little bit of extra reading or extra studying; and that can make all the difference. This idea makes today’s student fear boredom. If you are working, you have no time to be bored and if you are bored, you must not be working hard enough. In the long run, this competitive environment breeds selfish, greedy students who don’t know how to successfully collaborate or compromise. This becomes a huge problem when considering that these students are the future of America- we cannot put our country in the hands of politicians with these qualities. Modern schooling teaches kids that succeeding along with another person is not a real success. To avoid this students feel they must go beyond what their peers can accomplish. While students that push themselves beyond what is expected of them may seem good, they are not striving for their best; they are striving for just above their neighbor’s best. And many students will go to dangerous lengths to do so- often at the cost of justice or their integrity, simply because they feel that they

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