Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – We dont need no education

April 1, 2010

One of the great things about growing up is that you are able to gain perspective on the the things you did when you were a kid. You reexamine your actions your thoughts and your attitudes and sometimes you gain a greater appreciation for some of the people that pass through your life and the influences they might have had on you. Specifically I’m referring to teachers-the great underpaid under appreciated educators without whom you wouldn’t be able to read a damn thing I’ve just typed. Now you might be thinking I’m about to get on my soapbox and start preaching about how educators are getting screwed over by our awesome state because I happen to be a school counselor by day and now I have an outlet-but that would be too easy. Instead i’d rather explode the great rock n roll myth about how teachers are the enemy, the man trying to keep us down, the archenemy of youthful rebellion and exuberance. The reality however is quite different. I know this because of seen both sides.

In middle school and high school I was a Grade A smartass- especially to my history and English teachers. For the most part I was a respectful kid and a pretty good student but i just couldn’t resist a snappy comeback, a mischievous comment or an anti-authoritarian question.  I wasn’t the angry kid telling the teacher to F-off I was the bored kid that refused to believe that teachers were all knowing and shouldn’t be questioned. My history and English teachers bore the brunt of this behavior because those were the subjects that came easy for me and I didn’t know enough math and science to act up in those classes. Among my greatest accomplishments in high school were creating a collage about To Kill a Mocking Bird using only Mad Magazine and writing a research paper on Jack Kerouac using song lyrics as quotes and listing punk musicians as my sources-to my knowledge there are no books on the Beat poets written by a certain M. Ness, J.Ramone or I. Mackaye. I also managed to get myself kicked out of class and sent to the deans office by every english teacher I had in high school. So far I appear to be doing a horrible job proving my theory that teachers are not a bunch of geezers in bad ties meant to be harassed while we wait for lunch or football practice or the weekends coming parties, but I’m getting to that. Why? Because in addition to my laundry list of of teenage idiocy I also have a laundry list of teachers who were every bit as instrumental in shaping my ideals and idealism as any band whose music ever poured  through my speakers and into my impressionable adolescent brain. There was my eighth grade history teacher who actually thought enough of his students that he could tell us stories with profanity in them and know we wouldn’t rat him out to the principal or our parents and he also put up with my constant hippy and freedom rock references. There was my 9th grade Algebra teacher who was a certified genius,only gave us four problem tests and actually had me understanding algebra. Or my stage craft teacher who gave me the keys to the auditorium so I could fool around with the sound system when I didn’t feel like going to class. But the one I appreciate the most is the teacher who didn’t put up with any of my crap and told me I should join the marines to straighten my life out because I probably wasn’t going to amount to much - she didn’t say that to be a jerk she did it because she saw my potential. I went to college and grad school mostly to prove her wrong. More importantly she lit a fire under me that I try to light under my students.

So yeah some teachers are dictators and tyrants, some are out of touch but there's also a whole bunch that were crazy confused smartasses when they were kids. They’re ones who were too smart for their own good and wound up standing outside the door of their English class and they took the job to payback the teachers that gave them the breaks and the summers off aren’t bad either. And if I still haven’t managed to prove my point I have two final words- Greg Graffin!



-Daniel N-


Read more from Punk Rock Academy Fight Song HERE