Teacher Apologizes To 21st Century High School Students In Open Letter

An undated, anonymous letter from a frustrated teacher to their “21st century” high school students is creating waves on social media.

The Huffington Post published said letter, which painfully goes over all the things that are wrong in the public schools system in the United States, according to this teacher, and what he or she clearly sees as unneeded rules places on almost-adult aged kids.

The teacher apologizes for failing “to persuade the people who have the political power to change our public education system, to do so.” The the letter goes down a long list of what this person sees as problems with high schools in the 21st century.

“I’m sorry that you have to be at school so early each morning despite neuroscience research indicating that teen brains do not function optimally until 10 a.m.

“I’m sorry that you have to ask my permission to leave the classroom to pee even though you have a driver’s license and a part-time job, and are making significant decisions about your post-secondary life right now.

“I’m sorry that you are forced to sit for six hours each school-day despite research that reveals the detrimental cognitive and health effects of excessive sitting.

“I’m sorry that you have to study subjects that you are not interested in at a time when the sum total of human knowledge is doubling every 12 months.

“But most of all, I am sorry that the education system is focused on your participation in an extractivist economy while our environment, without which there would be no economy, undergoes a climate crisis that will force a rapid reconfiguration of all that we currently do socially, politically, and economically, and for which you will be utterly unprepared.”

“I am so very sorry.”

The teacher then goes on to list all the things they wish to do if given the chance to change the system.

“I wish I could wave a magic wand to give you the kind of school that would have spaces in which you could examine and explore, experiment and experience learning in diverse ways.

“I wish I had the power to re-ignite the passion for learning so evident in your eyes in the weeks before your first day of school.

“I wish I could help you to remember that before you were a student, you were a scientist, experimenting, discovering, questioning, making connections.

“You were a poet too… remember how you’d describe things in ways that amused and amazed the adults around you?

“You were born to learn. You cannot not learn.”

The heartfelt letter ends with a simple: Sincerely, A teacher. To read the entire letter written to 21st century high school students by this anonymous teacher, go here.

[Image via Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images News]