I just spent about 3 hours privately documenting all of the teachers and staff members that I had from K-12, along with key experiences and insights that I could recall from their grade, class or extracurriculars.
As much as I love to shit on formal school, I’ve got to say — I had a ton of good teachers and even had some great ones, too.
I’m sort of at a loss for words. Partly because I just outputted 3,000+ words all from memory and partly because I didn’t appreciate much of these people while I was in it, only now.
I spotted a few patterns for my favourite teachers over the years:
- They had a great passion for their craft and were skilled and knowledgeable at what they were teaching us about
- They were willing to do what they were telling us to do
- They resisted injecting their own subjective viewpoint or biases but asked questions to get us to think about things on our own and healthily debate amongst one another
- They didn’t take things too seriously, they were willing to share a laugh with us and have a good time, even if that meant just entertaining themselves
- They saw so much potential in me and wished I would’ve applied myself more to school
Of course, with the last one, I know that school wasn’t for me, but alternative education was. They’d probably be blown away at how fucking insane I am with learning now, but then again, I’ve consciously and unconsciously transformed who I was since I last spoke to all of these teachers.
When they wished I would’ve done better in school, what they really wanted was for me to tap into that potential in real life — not to do well in school and go get a job that I wouldn’t like, if that wasn’t for me (whether they consciously recognize that or not).
Quite frankly, I imagine many would disapprove of my current journey, but that’s because the school system is traditionally set up to produce normal lives. But that’s okay. Firstly, I’m not interested in normal. Secondly, no one has access to my vision or intuition. Thirdly, it’s my journey — no one else’s. So the weight of people’s opinions about what I should and shouldn’t do is virtually zero because no one can predict someone else’s future. I truly don’t give a fuck at the end of the day if they think it’s right or not, they can do them lol.
Day by day, I’m working towards fulfilling my vision and building a life designed exactly as I want it, not as the world would want it. It may be taking longer than expected and the world might be laughing, but I’m building a life that I actually love instead of the easy route of building one that looks nice to the outside world but is secretly terrible on the inside. The internal benefits I’ve experienced so far have surpassed my expectations. And the external results will follow soon.
As I finish up this reflection, I’m just feeling grateful for all of the great teachers I’ve had over the years. Even though I still can’t stand the current state of formal education (especially the indoctrination going on at the moment), I am so damn fortunate to have had great teachers who did their best to support my growth.
It was less about what they tried to teach me and more about how they treated me. What mattered more to me was what came through when they punted the textbook and entered into a flow state, what happened in the small moments beyond the classroom and what they saw within me.
I have virtually no way of telling if some of these teachers are dead or alive, thriving or just surviving. But I hope wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, I really hope all of these people are in good health and happiness. Thanks for helping a hard place for me a much better ride.
P.S. If you’re reading this and you taught me, feel free to say hello! I have a crazy good memory so I absolutely remember you.
P.P.S I haven’t reached out yet because I want to feel like I’ve done something significant before I do. Probably a dangerous game to play and I might end up regretting it. But it’s currently where I’m at.