How It Feels to Be the “Bad Kid” By Michael
In grade 2, I started getting in trouble all the time because I didn’t really like school. I thought there were more fun things to do, so I did them. I got in trouble for that.
The teacher was making the kids do normal school stuff like writing, math, French and reading. I would talk when I wasn’t supposed to or just play around at my desk instead of working.
When someone would find me doing those things, they would send me to the hall. I would play hockey with a pencil and paper ball. That was better than being in the classroom.
I would always stay outside longer than I was supposed at recess to and hide in my locker instead of going to class. Then, either my teacher or another teacher would see me. They would assume that I was just misbehaving. Really, I didn’t want to go into the class and do my work. I didn’t think I could do a good job at it. I felt bad about myself. They would say, “Go to the office.” I told myself I didn’t really care.
Everyone started thinking I was a bad kid. All the kids and all the teachers would say it all the time.
Even though I didn’t think I really cared, this started telling me a story about myself. I thought I was stupid.
I always hated going to school. I told myself I didn’t really care that much. I just stayed home and I built myself a little room in the basement with a beanbag chair and an iPad and I wanted to stay down there and watch Netflix.
Then, all I wanted to do was play hockey. So, I would always be in my driveway playing road hockey or shooting pucks. In the morning, my friends would come before school and we would play road hockey.
By then I was in grade five, and I was bored to just sit around and “do school.” The French, the English, the writing, the subjects felt boring to me. Now, I know I was falling behind and I didn’t like it. I thought I wasn’t good at them.
My parents went to a presentation at a community center about Blue Sky School. I wasn’t there. Then, we went to a bar and they had a presentation set up in the basement and then we had to build a something to make school better. I made a wrecking ball because I wanted to destroy school. I was just making a joke.
I told my mom I liked the philosophy of Blue Sky School, but I didn’t want to leave my friends. My mom thought it would be better for me because I hated school and I always didn’t want to go.
Then, I became a Blue Sky pioneer. The school wasn’t even built yet.
I went to Legacy (a conference for young entrepreneurs around college and university age) with the co-founders and the two other pioneers. It was really fun. I got to hear a whole bunch of speakers and it was really cool. I took some notes for the first speaker, then I realized I couldn't read my own notes, so I stopped. I remembered everything that the speakers were talking about. I can still remember one guy who talked about how you can’t just be scared, but you have you train yourself to face it. If you work on it, you’ll be better at not reacting to things. HE called this “face the flinch” (actually, he used a bad word, but I’m not going to write that here).
Now I know I didn't face the flinch at my old my old school. Instead, I embraced the flinch. I hid. I ran away. I built a cave in my basement. All of this made me feel worse about myself.
This is a hard lesson to learn. I’m still learning it.
Now, I’m in my second year at Blue Sky School and I try to face the flinch. I succeed at doing it sometimes. Other times, I fall into old patterns. When something is hard for me (like multiplication tables or writing or talking about my feelings), I say that it's boring. Really, I’m not facing the flinch. I’m running away.
Writing this blog post has been hard. I didn’t want to do it. I don’t feel confident writing. I avoid it by saying I don’t like to write. Really, I’m scared that I’ll be bad at it. I think that writing this has been a good reminder for me to face the flinch. I’m nervous about people reading it, but I am going to face the flinch and share my story.