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“I hate school!”

How many times has an educator heard these words?  Well, if you are an educator, you probably heard it once or twice or more today.  Like many I am a teacher who tries to get students to enjoy school and reach their best potential.  The other day though I almost freaked out.  I was wandering through a local bookstore and heard a mother and daughter debating in the row next to me.  The mother was talking about how much she hated school when she was young and was telling her daughter it was okay to basically do the same.  She (the mother) stated that the teachers didn’t do anything to keep her attention and did not teach her anything useful.  The mother then stated that since she has now returned to college she likes learning and the teachers are so much better.

It took all my energy not to start freaking out at this point.  I wanted to say it was not the teachers it was her maturity that made the difference!  The mother did not realize that at this point she has learned the education and learning is important.  As I was contemplating this, I wondered at what age to some of these kids who say “I hate school” mature enough to realize education is important.  Well, I checked at some statistics and figured the best way to figure it out was to see the average age of a G.E.D. recipient.  According to the American Council on Education that ‘magical’ age is 25.6.  At this ‘magical’ age students who hated school realize that education is important (or at least important enough for a job).

I guess the question should be though, what can we do to lower that age of maturity.  How do we make students who hate school realize that education is important before the age of 25.6?  Of course there is the possibility that we can’t lower that age, maybe it is one of those ‘Nature vs Nurture’ type problems.

On a side note though, our maturity age is five years younger then Canada (average age of G.E.D. recipient is 31.6).

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