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August 2001 - June 2017

The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

If you want to write about your experiences in school, you can write on our blog.

To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.


The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. My contact details are here.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.

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I'm new around here.
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xcriteria Offline

Posts: 3,090
Joined: Oct 2005
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Post: #4
I'm new around here.

Welcome! How many of the people making arguments against archaic forms of schooling are you familiar with? There are so many, and more and more teachers are realizing that school-as-usual isn't helping a lot of students.

If you haven't seen Ken Robinson's various talks, for example, check them out. His 2010 talk, Changing Education Paradigms is a key one, and something to consider showing parents, teachers, admins, and other students.

If you're that unhappy with school (like most who find this site), I encourage learning about alternatives. Although parents are often locked into school-as-usual being the path to success in life, there are many other options, and I'm interested in helping people learn about them. The North Star / Liberated Learners model originated by Ken Danford and a fellow teacher is one of the most promising options I've found. I highly recommend watching his TEDx talk, School is optional: Ken Danford at TEDxAmherstCollege.

There are several documentaries coming out that explore issues with school-as-usual as well as alternatives.

This teaser-trailer for Most Likely to Succeed juxtaposes students who are locked into thinking memorizing things for tests is what they should be focusing on, with a summary of the history of Prussian-drived, factory-model schooling:

MLTS Teaser: Vince

Another documentary coming out this year, and available as screenings, is Class Dismissed: A Film About Learning OUTSIDE of the Classroom. It follows a family that chooses to opt out of school, along with interviews with various advocates of homeschooling and learning beyond school in general.

The reality is, despite what so many people think, you can still get into many colleges -- from those who accept anyone, to MOST top-tier and Ivy League schools, without going through traditional schooling. There's a whole process for making college-friendly transcripts for those who opt out of school, and a range of consultants and programs who can help people do that. The key is spending your time actually learning, and developing yourself as an interesting person, as opposed to complying with grades while true learning takes a back seat.

At the same time, many people are questioning traditional college, and the world of higher education, like education in general, is experiencing a fair amount of disruption these days. The same kinds of content, experiences, and connections presented in college can happen in other ways... so it's worth exploring options, as well as the range of college programs out there, and figuring out what makes sense given who you are and your ideas about what kind of life you'd like to pursue.

The documentary Ivory Tower (trailer) is out now, and it addresses the disruption going on in higher ed.

These days, all of the basic content covered in school is available, for free, online, like through YouTube resources like Crash Course and Khan Academy, as well as in many other forms. Even if your goal (or your parents' goal) is preparing to take tests, like for selective college admission, there are always better ways to prepare if you're not learning effectively in school.

All of those things are just a taste of the criticism and disruption going on in education in the 21st century.

It's a very interesting time to be coming of age, and I hope more of the current set of students trapped in school can take steps to learn about it all and help change things for themselves and others, then in times past.

Anyway... again, welcome to School Survival, and let us know if there's anything we can do to help you figure out how to make sense of it all.

Peter Gray & allies launching the Alliance for Self-directed Education

ASDE Newsletters: #1 Announcement | #2 History of ASDE | #6 Education Liberation

School Survival & Catalyst Learning Network featured on AlternativestoSchool's blog
“Mom, Dad, can I stop going to school?”

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High

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02-21-2015 12:18 PM
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Messages In This Thread
I'm new around here. - schoolsux - 02-20-2015, 12:56 PM
RE: I'm new around here. - Aureate - 02-20-2015, 02:08 PM
I'm new around here. - SoulRiser - 02-21-2015, 02:38 AM
I'm new around here. - xcriteria - 02-21-2015 12:18 PM

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