For today's prompt , write a poem , essay , or short fiction about school . It may be an experience you have had or preparing your own children or grandchildren . If teaching is in your background , try writing from the point of view of a teacher .



This prompt got me thinking . About the learner who does not conform . The one who dares to be different , at the risk of being labelled – the class rebel . Quite often the class clown , as well . And smart-mouthed . The one who rocks the boat . Goes against the grain . No matter which way you look at it , this learner is the-nightmare-come-true for the teacher . (Especially the Mr-This-Is-My-Turf-And-I-Refuse-Point-Blank-To-Entertain-Anything-To-The-Contrary-You-WILL-Toe-The-Line-And-No-Questions-Period)

Over the years I've had countless opportunities to chat with ex-learners . I've discovered that many of the "so-called rebels" have turned out alright , and are the ones who have gone on to become highly productive adults . Whilst that rebellious attitude works against the immature , irresponsible learner in the school environment , it can become his biggest asset out there in the 'real world', as a mature responsible adult . The rebel is often the thinker , innovator , creator , inventor – he wants to do things differently , on his own terms , his own way , in his own time ! Don't get me wrong ! I am not suggesting that every problematic , disruptive or rebellious learner is an Einstein-in-the-making . Nor am I proposing any form of justification for blatant rotten behaviour .

I've noticed that the "A-student" (stereotypically and traditionally the sheltered , pampered , teacher's pet who was well-behaved , totally obedient , class monitor , prefect and recipient of various awards) … received a real 'eye-opener' when he encountered the jungle out there , away from the 'safety' of school . On the flip side , the "E-student" (stereotypically and traditionally problematic , non-academic , streetwise 'dummy' who was always in trouble and called lazy/stupid) … tended to cope well with the 'curve balls' that real adult life throws at you .

So here are some final thoughts on the matter : the rebel seems to go further , faster , whilst having loads of fun . Rebels also seem to understand people better . They are not afraid to 'test the water' and know how to survive on their own – they've been doing it since school . I think they become leaders because , in the end , people feel safer with them because they appear courageous – openly or not . Depending on the situation , we all admire the rebel … maybe it's because we all have the potential/desire to be one , but we don't all possess the courage …

Check out the prompt at Victoria's blog :


  1. viv blake on August 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Your piece contains a great deal of sense.  I was a bit of a rebel at school, but I've done all right ever sincer, even down to discovering academic leanings late in life.

    • mish on August 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks Viv … sometimes teachers really need to ‘cut them some slack’ … they eventually come in to their own … well , some of them , anyway .

  2. Victoria on August 30, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Thought-provoking essay, Mish, and very true. It makes me think of the bumper sticker, "Question Authority." And so we do. Thanks for sharing this.

    • mish on August 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      I agree with the “Question Authority” sticker ! It keeps “authority” on its toes … and accountable ! 🙂

  3. zongrik on August 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    You make some very important points here.  School "thinks" it's one thing, when in fact, it's what it is to each person, student, teacher or parent, not just to the adminstrators and founders.

    • mish on August 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      In a nutshell , yes … perceived differently by different stakeholders … this is actually a good way of looking at it .
      Thanks for your contribution zongrik . I appreciate you stopping by !

  4. Damyanti on August 31, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Hey 🙂 so cool that you're doing these writing prompt thingies….must do them again when I'm back to a bit of normalcy on my blog…after the Blogfest announcement, etc. 😀

    • mish on August 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      These prompt thingiemajjigies help to keep the creative juices flowing … very helpful ! 🙂

  5. Blaga on August 31, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Your observation is absolutely right Michelle! The rebel from my class now is a mayor of our town in Bulgaria and doing pretty well! The A+ student, the one that knew everything, following the exact procedures of teaching plans, with dreams to become a doctor and God knows what else, has done nothing out of this … I was just a normal A student, my dreams have changed over the years, and I haven't achieved everything I wanted, but there's still time … Thanks for sharing your essay!

    • mish on August 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Well there you have it ! Just confirms what I’ve said above ! Once the rebel is out of school and channels his rebellious energies in the right direction … boom ! I’ve seen it happen many times .

  6. Bodhirose on August 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Your essay has a lot of common sense, Mish.  I really enjoyed reading this–it made some very good points as to students' behaviors and how that benefits them in the future–or not.

    • mish on August 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      Students are all unique ; each one is wired differently and matures in a different manner … education is not only academic … progress is not only determined by paper test scores … there are so many variables to this … one could go on and on …

  7. Isadora on September 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Your insight on education has lots of good points. Teachers need
    to allow students to have a little more self-expression.
    Enjoyed this …
    P.S. thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your very nice comment.

    • mish on September 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      Isadora , you are really a honey-bunch ! 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful comments .

  8. Blaga on September 3, 2011 at 10:51 am here is little something thanks to you 🙂 sorry for the delay …

    • mish on September 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      Not a problem Blaga ! Thanks for your delightful response to the creative challenge !

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