One major rude awakening I experienced the past year and three months teaching, is that classroom management is not only important, but entirely necessary. Of course that does not mean abuse of power, punitive suppression or other forms of injustice should go along with it, but in general managing the classroom, having very clear boundaries and expectations are so necessary it is not even funny. All these years I have been hating on teachers and judging them for what I assumed was control tactics and power trips, (which definitely does play a part in education as well as pretty much any other areas in life) but instead I have learned what it is like to do the job day in and day out and I now have a whole other level of newfound compassion for teachers, and anyone in that system for that matter. I have experienced first hand what standing in front of up to 25 riled up kids is like day in and day out and it is SO incredibly hard. This whole time I assumed that kids only acted out because teachers were abusing their power, and I have learned that is simply not true. Sure there is abuse of power, which I am not ok with, and sure the system is struggling majorly but it feels like now I can see above all that and understand that the teachers are just as much a part of the system as the kids are and they are just playing their part in a big system that is way bigger than the us vs them teachers vs kids false dichotomy. While I still believe many of the things I did before about the system and teachers etc, I no longer feel as much anger about it because I know that I have felt like doing MANY of the things that I do not think are ok in the classroom etc. and I am a good person so if I can experience that anyone can! Everyones reactions to their experience in these environments are very human!
Through my experience with difficult students I now understand exactly why my teachers did what they did and I am thankful for it. Oddly enough I am now an advocate for helping people to explore their own bias towards the school system because in just a few short months of being a teacher my WHOLE perception of my childhood has changed.