I decided to post this in "chit chat" or off-topic, because I've gotten negative feedback from posting in other areas where more specific teaching questions should be asked, but anyway, and you might have already heard the spiel, but here it is, in case you didn't. I spent a good portion of my life in what I thought was an apathetic and cold institution, called public school, that was a little like jail for kids who didn't really do anything wrong. It was a place where adults could yell at you and impose unfair penalties whenever they felt like it. It was a place where you learned how to stifle your own creativity in exchange for following rules and trying to figure out the answers others wanted, even if they were wrong or just didn't see things the way you did. I learned to almost hate people in this environment; I always had trouble communicating anyway, so public school was sort of torture. I developed a strong distrust for other people, and I eventually stopped trying to socialize and get along with others and retreated further into myself. Well, I survived high school and a natural disaster that claimed my folks' house, and I enrolled in college. College was liberating. I felt like I could be the creative thinker I always wanted to be. For some reason, though, I made the mistake of my life and decided to become an English teacher. I naively thought I could walk into a classroom and my students would adore me just because of my idealistic dreams. Unfortunately, I didn't wake up until I entered my first classroom as a sub and had books thrown at my head! I quickly learned that classroom management, not anything else, was the most important part of being a teacher, and my desire to be creative plummeted as I struggled to gain control. It's like the students took delight in derailing my already shaky lessons and destroying my fragile confidence. I continued like this until I finally got hired at a good public school where the students' ideals kind of meshed with my own. I thought it would be a wonderful fit. I learned quickly, however, that teaching is also a learning curve, one that you have to meet mostly on your own; I floundered at this assignment as well, even though I had students who were interested in computer programming and foreign languages. I found myself resorting to yelling to quiet a bunch of noisy students, and my classes were / are as boring and lifeless as they come. I found myself imposing arbitrary rules that were difficult for many students to meet just so that I could keep some semblance of order. Sure, I hated bad teachers until I became one myself. Now, I understand there's a lot more to the story.