It's happened to you before. You may not have noticed it much, but its guaranteed. Chances are, that at least one time in your life you've been forced to do something that takes time and energy for an absolutely pointless reason. It doesn't even have to take a lot of energy, just tick you off.
It annoys me to no end. I'm playing a game of Warcraft III and some one will say "Do this!" or "Build that!" or "Attack now!" I ask you, who is playing, me or him? If I win, is it my victory? If I lose, did I have fun, and was it my fault? If he wants to play, he will probably get a turn. Then he can win or lose on his own time.
I realize that most people who do this just do it out of habit or do it not meaning to annoy people, so I ask you all to consider, before you tell some one what to do, perhaps rephrase it or, drop it all together. Even if you mean to give them good advise, If they've been doing it long enough, they know how to do it a lot better then you.
Let me give you another example. Its a friday and a teacher assistant tells me to clean out my mail box. I have absolutely no reason to do so. This is my third year going to this school, and I think I know how to run my mailbox, thank you very much. In this example you can just ignore it. I tell her, "no thanks, not yet." A shorter way of saying, "No way, I know how to run my mailbox."
There are many examples. Coaches yell from the sidelines to players what to do. People tell you what to do with your time. A lot of the time you can just say "yes, I'll do that!" and do something completely different.
So save people the peace of mind and keep your mouth shut.
Now on to the really seriously annoy instances of this. For math I use a 1 Inch binder, and that is all that I need for algebra. It works fine for me. As a matter of fact, I've used it all so far this year with no problems. Now the teacher says we need a spiral bound notebook. Why? There is no basis for your argument. He says something about keeping papers in place, I have not lost a paper all year. It truly does work fine for me. This is what really set me off to write this rant, even though I've been thinking of it for a while. So, now I've gone through the work of getting it and now I'm going to use it in math for tomorrow. For no reason. I would prefer to use my 3 ring binder, but no.
You may ask how I would change the system. How I would solve it. The problem is that there is no one thing you could do to entirely fix it. You couldn't say "kids should have authority to decide how to do math." That wouldn't work for obvious reasons. What I say is that YOU have to give people leeway to do what works for them. Even if they lose a game, on computer or the field, fail quiz, miss something in their mailbox, you have to let people learn something. Unless you plan on standing by them 24/7 all their lives, let them learn something.
There is a difference between when some one tells some one what to do, and some one giving some one else much needed advice. Before you talk, think. Does this person already know this? Has this person done this a lot in the past? How long has this person done this with out you? Is it necessary?
I hope you learned something.