Elementary woes v. Work woes

“I don’t want to go to school.”

Its a typical response to the existence of school throughout your childhood years. I mean who really wants to go to school and get their chewed on my a teacher day after day. In high school and college there is a little more freedom.

Elementary school, however, is the vain of 90% of children. Teachers are restrictive, textbook are heavy, and even recess are really just bullying sessions. The worst of all are the intimidating spelling bees, which really only teaches you to avoiding getting things right at all cost. If your wrong you get to sit down, otherwise you are on an endless line up and there is no gun to give you mercy.

The persecution is endless and after the third or fourth year you have to get smart. Simply saying “I don’t want to go to school” doesn’t actually get you out. In fact 100% of the time parents are more likely to enforce attendance, but suddenly you have a tummy ache and your in business.

For example, fourth grade was hell for me. Thankfully there was this little thing called peanut butter. I loved it but I tummy hated it. All I needed was too much of the pb and I was off to the nurse. Off to the nurse and out of school. I was so predictable that the nurse didn’t even have to call my mother after a while. Typically on the third or fourth day my body just had enough and that’s when my tummy just shut down.

Now that I’m adult though, the peanut butter technique doesn’t really work. Nothing actually works. “I don’t want to go to work” is either said in my head or without realizing to my pillow. And while there is noone to actually force me to go to work I still find myself dressed and ready for the day.

Don’t get me wrong, working in a library isn’t a miserable job. 75% of the time loving my job is easy. I get to take books home for free, what’s not to love (even though I get a little sad when I have to bring them back).  its just that other 25% is daily grind that can just get to you.

Then again it could just be a bad week, like this week. In that case…….

“I don’t want to go to work,” said the lowly librarian worker in agony.

The only happy thought to permeate her brain is one simple thought; tomorrow is the weekend. Ahh the power of optimism. Till we meet again


4 Comments on “Elementary woes v. Work woes”

  1. Ams says:

    Wow. What a dismal post to all who work in schools. You make school sound like jail for children. How do you explain weirdos like me, who grew up liking school most of the time? While I agree with you, yes, kids don’t like tests and such things, I can say with confidence that most children do not feel the way you describe above.

    How do you figure that elementary school is “the vain of 90% of children”? I would think that elementary school is the better part, with the dreaded middle school being hell. I mean, snack time? Recess? (Which, I don’t know what experience you’re speaking from, but it is not “bully time” for every kid. Kids cry because they -can’t-go to recess! Tag? Games? Actually talking with your friends and not having to do school work??!) I’m not trying to gloss over bullying though. It is definitely a problem that we try to nip whenever we see it, and especially early. You also know that our family has definitely had some bad problems with bullying, so I know what I’m talking about.

    Also, the bit about the spelling bee. I must say, I was one of those kids who didn’t want to be in the bee. But I personally know kids who relish such competitions. Some kids really get into things like that! Not to mention other groups that merit similar ideals, like OM (Oddessy of the Mind). Not sure if you have that in Catholic school, but if you’ve never heard of it, you should look it up. It’s a great group that my brother was even a part of. And while we’re on the topic of school groups, how about the tons of clubs and sports and other things that kids wake up every day looking forward to? I personally run a 5/6 grade gaming club at school, as you know, and kids look like their dog died if I tell them it’s canceled for that night. But I digress.

    Your bit about “In fact 100% of the time parents are more likely to enforce attendance” I don’t understand. Is that what happened in your school growing up? In most public schools parents fall in a couple of categories when it comes to attendance. One, they are the kind that let their kid stay home when they’re genuinely sick. Period. Two, they let their kids stay home when they fake it because they either can’t tell the difference yet or they just don’t care. And three, the parent lets their kid stay home or skip whenever they feel like it. These are the types of parents I deal with and that many schools have. Honestly, I have never heard of a school where 100% of the parents enforce attendance. Often parents leave for work early and the kids see themselves to school (or not). So I’d watch out when using percentages unless you have sources to back it up.

    I’m sorry fourth grade was hell for you. I’m sure it’s hell for some kids and a breeze for others. But the reason I’m writing this post is to give a voice to the other side of the argument, because I can’t help but take offense to assumptions about “restrictive teachers” and the like. I work with a bunch of great professionals that I have personally observed being great teachers. I also know that there are definitely bad teachers. The point is that school is an experience that is vital to every kid, and posts about it being negative only hinder those fighting for better schools.

    With headlines as they are, you can see why I, as a teacher, would feel obliged to rebut what you said. Because right now we need more people supporting our schools, not telling the internet world how terrible they are.

    Sorry to get so assertive on ya, Terra. I just feel very strongly about this and I hope you were just in a moody funk when you wrote some of those things. Especially since you personally know family and friends who are teachers!

    • tthomps says:

      Didn’t mean to offend anyone with this post. It honestly wasn’t posted with Journalistic standards. Like a lot of my posts on here it was a personal perspective journal piece.

      I do recognize that their are a lot of great teachers and schools across this country. I think the point was more that on days when we don’t want to go to school or work, its those days that our professors/teachers/bosses may appear to be more restrictive and harder on work. Attitude is everything, said my mother (the teacher).

  2. Annie says:

    I definitely understand the “daily grind” – the routine of getting up and going to work – somewhere you only enjoy half the time (maybe even less than that). The corporate world seems to be the epitome of that.


  3. Well, this is an interesting post. I was a little upset with your second paragraph about teachers being restrictive. I think depending on the teacher and the class, students can have some freedom in an elementary school. I will say though that I took some art classes in elementary school and it lacked creativity. I wasn’t able to express myself they way that I wanted to. Instead, I had to copy the exact image that my teacher would draw on the board. It’s a shame that the lesson was made this way because it did not allow students to draw freely and to use our imagination.
    But now since I’ve been teaching for Saturday School art class and observing classes, not many teacher restrain students (again, depending on teacher and class). I think there would be more freedom in schools if they were not laying off a lot of art teachers and cutting art completely from school.
    Now that I’m thinking about it, this is a complete woe. Sigh….


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