Should Kids Hate School?

I don’t know anyone who would answer “yes” to this question.  So why is the myth that “kids hate school” so pervasive?

Last week, buses were cancelled in Muskoka (yes, there is only one Muskoka!), and the television announcers made a huge deal out of how happy kids would be because they didn’t have to go to school.

If kids shouldn’t hate school, why would they be so happy to miss it?

We need to shift away from the norm of “hating school”.  There are probably reasons why people hated school in the past (perhaps being in the “Bluebird” reading group?).

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But why joke about this with kids today?  It’s outdated thinking.  Kids should never hate going to school.

Let Me Play

School is a place where students go to learn, to collaborate, to be healthy. It should be an optimum environment to promote growth, not something that they hate.


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And if they can’t get to the building, there is no reason* why kids (in Ontario) can’t be learning at home.  Blended learning and e-Learning are available in all publicly funded Ontario schools.  A cancelled school bus means kids connect with their classroom digitally and there is no interruption in learning.

“If we took seriously the need for kids to feel known and cared about, our discussions about the distinguishing features of a “good school” would sound very different. Likewise, our view of discipline and classroom management would be turned inside-out, seeing as how the primary goals of most such strategies are obedience and order, often with the result that kids feel less cared about — or even bullied — by adults.”

As adults, we sometimes forget to question “norms” from times gone by.

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Let’s be mindful of our sphere of influence.  Showing that we hated school can have a powerful influence on those hearing the message.  And if a child doesn’t want to go to school, it’s not okay.  Find out why.



Further reading:

“That so few children seem to take pleasure from what they’re doing on a given weekday morning, that the default emotional state in classrooms seems to alternate between anxiety and boredom, doesn’t even alarm us. Worse: Happiness in schools is something for which educators may feel obliged to apologize when it does make an appearance. After all, they wouldn’t want to be accused of offering a “feel-good” education.”

Why do we need to write papers in every course?

*We are not doing an adequate job of ensuring internet access to all learners.  Many remote and not-so-remote areas have sub-standard or no access to the internet (or public libraries).



One thought on “Should Kids Hate School?

  1. As a Vice-Principal in a Middle School I find it that most of the over 440 students like come to school. It is about creating a warm, welcoming and inviting environment. I agree with you Donna that students shouldn’t hate school.

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