As Jay Angler wrote: "...teachers teach stuff with no relation to the real world."
This was my biggest complaint, and why I was a pain in the butt. I would always ask for context (ESPECIALLY WITH ALGEBRA); where, how will I use this in the real world?
I was fortunate, and am truly indebted to many of my teachers. Especially that I was taught to read with PHONICS and learned how to break down a word into its components, so that even a word I had never seen before could be broken down, its root word(s) located, so that it could be pronounced, spelled and comprehended.
Miss Astel who didn't actually kill me for being so difficult (I was the only one in the class who knew how to read), and taught me that it is not just ME that matters.
Miss Woodward, my second grade teacher who turned our classroom into a learning lab with duck and chicken eggs we hatched and raised, along with the guinea pig (who also had babies) and salmon eggs we raised and released. Our desks were around the perimeter, the center was the "zoo". From these animals we learned everything: reading, writing, observation, projection, planning, logging, tracking, math, multiple sciences (ecology, biology etc.), compassion...Never have I been so engaged in learning as I was in this room.
Mrs. Gibson my third grade teacher who realized that most of the "troublesome" kids were actually bored and started a special program that removed us from class for an hour a day and put our unchallenged minds to work on critical thinking, planning, decoding, problem solving, riddle solving, how to look beyond the obvious. We then had to make up what we had missed, keeping us from irritating the teacher and being "disruptive" in class.
I am still angry that I was denied access to the "intermediate" section of the library for years, as access was based on age, not ability. I remember vividly the day in second grade I challenged the librarian to pick any book from the age appropriate "primary" section, so that I could prove I HAD read them all...30 books later, I got special permission to borrow from the intermediate section. I will never understand why they would restrict access to books, knowledge or thwart a child that WANTS to read.
I pity the teachers in high school who could not explain the REASON we were learning stuff. Especially Mrs. Smedley, my poor 8th, 9th and 11th grade algebra teacher (the only subject I every actually failed, and did so multiple times). I simply could not, and still cannot grasp why there are LETTERS in a math problem??? Yet, in 10th grade, I had a different teacher, and got B's...
Please teach reading with phonics.
Please teach math in a manner that makes sense in the real world.
Please teach science in a manner that is relatable and has real world applications.
Please teach geography and history together, as they are so inextricably linked.
Please teach about other nations, cultures, languages and include this in history/geography so there is context.
Please teach that everyone is different; that differences should be celebrated and admired, not challenged to conform.
Please teach that EVERYONE is valued, regardless of religion, race, economic status, clothing taste, hair color, gender, gender identification, who their parents are or who they choose to share their life with.
Please teach pride in a job well done.
Please teach that the journey that is as valuable, if not more so, than the destination.
Please teach that it is okay to say no when one is uncomfortable or overwhelmed.
Please teach compassion, not pity; strength, not bullying; love, not hate.
Please teach that uniqueness is to be cherished, and celebrated not squashed into a "box" and forced to "conform".