Is it just me, or does the educational system just suck?

Now before I start my ramble, I do want to say first that my beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted daughter is just amazing. She has a beautiful singing voice; we have no idea where she gets it from, because while we have musicians in the family there’s not a single vocalist. My daughter is a petite vocal powerhouse who has beautiful daydreams and a kick-butt imagination.

It is my belief that all of her talents and her personality will serve her well in the future. However, (yes, here it comes, the big BUT) over the last two years, more so this year we are constantly hearing from her teachers.“Your daughter forgets her homework all the time, she’s daydreaming in class (okay maybe class time is not the best time to be a daydreamer), she’s disorganized, her desk is a mess. Yada yada”.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take these things lightly but here’s my question (well, one of many, but let’s start with this): why do we hear this more from some teachers and not as much as others? Some teachers just “got” my daughter and knew how to capture her attention and her interest. They were in communication with us only when she need an extra push or reminder. She has struggled with organization for a while now, and we’ve noticed. We’ve tried different strategies, cajoled, rewarded. It’s an ongoing process that we know will only change a bit at a time, but there is change.

This year we are hearing, “have you had her tested for ADD?” While I don’t think she has ADD, I admit I’m not the expert, so we are currently in discussions with our doctor and a specialist. We’ll see how that goes. However, sometimes the educational system just sucks.

It’s a set curriculum that is mostly lecture-based, even though studies do show that the majority of children do well with tactile learning, are visual learners and hands-on.

So why is the curriculum set up to be lecture based, which is auditory learning? Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s the teachers; I have the utmost respect for all the wonderful teachers out there, some whom have taught my daughter. These are the ones who, wherever they can, incorporate different learning tools such as visual cues, hands on projects, artistic projects and more. They’re usually the teachers all the students want because they are cool. However, all the teachers, good and bad (and yes there are bad ones just like with any profession), are restricted as they still have to adhere to the curriculum.

It’s such curriculum that has daydreaming, musically inclined, organizationally challenged art loving, but not liking math or science so much students such as my daughter struggling. It has teachers and administrators suggesting that have her tested for ADD and see a paediatrician so she can have a ministry tag, etc. Really? So a disorganized child who daydreams must be ADD?

So we continue our journey to help my daughter be more organized and find out if she’s ADD. We will converse and sometimes fight with the school to adapt to different learning styles. I’m curious as to what others experience, and how they work with the school system, especially if they have day dreaming, imaginative, soulful children who struggle as our does. I’d love to hear about it and see if we’re not alone. 

 Michelle Sutter

Owner, Powered by Mom




Wannabee BLUNT

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  1. Yep. You’re right. I’ve been talking this over with a few friends lately, whose kids also don’t fit into the school system mold. The system is designed for “average” kids or kids of a certain type. So you work with the system or try to find an alternative school that “gets” your kid or you homeschool. 🙂 Good luck with finding something that works for your daughter!

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  3. Michelle Sutter

    Homeschooling has crossed my mind Bonnie I must admit but I also recognize that my daughter gets her lack of patience from me LOL. She’s also such a sociable kid I don’t want to take that away from her. It’s high school next year I’m trying to decide whether to dread it or hope it’s our fresh start 🙂 Thanks Bonnie!

  4. Crystal Englot

    It is actually not just schools now, I struggled through most of my schooling, (high school was better for me) I struggled because I am artistic, I am a hands on learning, I am not a learner that can sit there for hours on end and listen to someone lecture me on what happened a thousand years before I was born, or how the stars are formed. With that being said once I hit high school it did get super easy for me! I went from getting C & D to getting almost straight A’s. I have no idea what the change was, but it just seemed to get easier. I hate how schools push us parents to get our children tested for ADD! We went through this with my step-son. We seen all the doctors, seen child phsycologists, etc. They did say that he was candidate and then pushed on the meds. You would definitely know if your child had ADD as she would not be able to sit still for even 5 minutes, they have a super short attention span. The meds did help him sit still, but he still would not pay attention and actually caused him to develop a really bad stutter to the point where he just stopped talking at school. It was sickening to see him go through all of this, if the school would have just adjusted his curriculum to something that was more hands on he would have been an excellent student. Be very careful and make sure to get more than one opinion from a doctor if the first one does say that your daughter has ADD. I agree with you 100% that the school system is an absolute joke! My little man starts kindergarten next year and I am already dreading the time he is going to have to spend in there!

  5. The school system has been making me crazy this past year too. It’s this Common Core stuff where the system thinks that all kids need to be at the same place at the same time. Kids are HUMAN BEINGS – not one of them is created the same…therefore we can NOT expect them to be EXACTLY the same. Teachers are talented, amazing people but the school system is forcing them to treat all kids the same. I don’t think it’s right! If they just let the teachers TEACH and not give them these crazy goals I think it would be better. I wouldn’t worry about ADD either – I think that’s the answer for some school systems/teachers who don’t want to let kids be KIDS.

  6. Michelle Sutter

    I hope all goes well for your little guy Crystal! Thank you for sharing I appreciate it 🙂 my daughter definitely does not have the hyperactiveness of ADHD she does have inattention issues but what kid doesn’t? Either way we don’t see meds as an option for her. I hope she has a better go of it in high school like you did. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Michelle Sutter

    Tracy I couldn’t agree more that is one of my biggest issues with school curriculum the are are created differently so why is the curriculum so rigid and not structured for the best way most kids learn. They are not exactly the same I wish this was recognized more. Thanks again!

  8. I was your daughter. I was a great student when teachers actually worked with me and when I got high scores on intelligence tests they assumed I was cheating (I have no clue how I would do that, but I digress) … I blossomed in college because there I made awesome friends and study buddies who learned like I did. You’re daughter sounds like a very creative girl. I wish you all the best!

  9. This all sounds so familiar! Even though my kiddos are grown and out of school now, I experienced this also with my son. As it turned out, my son did have ADD with hyperactivity after being put through a ton of testing. Medication helped in the the sense it calmed him down. He was still disorganized, fidgeted, etc. He had an above average IQ and could do the work, but for some reason he needed some test to be given orally – which they did. I believe the advantage we had was it was a small school and over 15 years ago. Teachers were free to do what was needed to actually teach instead of making all students be, and do, the exact same thing based on their instructions. My son thrived and graduated. If I had to deal with the school system as it is now, I am not sure there would have been such positive results. Kids are not little robots. They are each different and to actually reach them in the classroom, they’re individuality needs to be considered!

  10. Michelle Sutter

    Donna thanks so much for sharing, I think friends make a big difference, ones who have similar learning preferences etc.. and the support is priceless. Thanks that’s so positive and yeah my daughter is very creative and I think that’s amazing 🙂

  11. Jennifer Turpin

    This is why, as an educator, I became so disenchanted with the public school system. In college, I was taught about multiple intelligences, Bloom’s taxonomy, differentiated instruction, and best teaching practices. HOWEVER, federal and state government often times dictates to school districts what needs to be taught. The teachers are then given curriculum that basically is a script. If you’re familiar with Everyday Math or the Success For All language arts program, they are basically scripts for how we are to teach students. SFA was an hour-and-a-half and BORING. How could I expect the students to feel excited or be engaged, if I couldn’t stand what I was teaching.

    In addition, I had 5th graders that didn’t know how to spell, read, or if they could read they didn’t comprehend what they were reading. Really, what is the point of “reading” if you don’t even comprehend what it is that you’ve read?

    Finally, the government has set up a system by which teachers must teach to the test. It’s all performance and numbers based. Some districts withhold a teacher’s pay raise if his/her class does not meet minimum scoring requirements. It’s nuts.


    I’m going to save this and will comment at a later time because I do have a lot to say but am unable to comment at this time. Hope in the future your little girl gets the teachers who inspire and motivate and not put down so much.

  13. Lee McCullough

    I am truly alarmed by the results of today’s educational system. I received my schooling in the sixties and seventies and I believe it was outstanding. I am constantly amazed by the things young people have not been taught and don’t know. Man made global warming is, perhaps, the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against mankind but complete lack in understanding geology, meteorology, paleontological evolution and time has made wide eyed superstitious fools of our children. The same can be said for the guilt trip laid on our young students by representing our species of man as being responsible for all ecological woes, past and present, with Americans being the very worst abusers. God help the children.

  14. Linda Manns Linneman

    Do not be to quick to have your daughter labeled with this because it will follow her everywhere. I think people are to quick to diagnose ADD or ADHD. Each of us are made different and unique. Each of us are better at some things than others. I think good teachers get creative with the students and make it fun. I think they learn more this way. Thank you so much for this great article

  15. That’s not true. I have add and I can sit still for hours. Don’t spread lies. That’s why I never got help for mine til I was an adult.and now I’m financially behind everyone else my age.

  16. Finally someone who understands! I love what you wrote, and I completely and whole heartedly believe that what you said is the utmost truth. I hope that one day things will change, and the vision we see will be true.

  17. Hi Wannabee, Thank you so much for such a useful post ! Actually why do we hear this more from some teachers and not as much as others?

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