Dolly Parton Revealed Why She ‘Did Not Like School’

Dolly Parton has achieved major success throughout her career that spans over five decades. While the queen of country has proven she can accomplish whatever goals she sets for herself, Parton admitted that school just wasn’t her thing.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | Denise Truscello/Getty Images for ACM

Dolly Parton had a hard time focusing on her studies

Parton revealed that she had other things on her mind when she first started attending school – namely boys – which made concentrating on academics a bit of a challenge.

“Boy, I did not like school,” the 9 to 5 star wrote in her book, Dream More. “I guess a lot of kids feel the same way. I’m still not sure what I learned in school, except that boys were a distraction. They still are. (Hey, I’m married, not blind!)”

Music was also already a priority for Parton and her thoughts would often drift to dreams of fame.

“Plus, it’s hard to concentrate on history when you’re dreaming about performing at the Grand Ole Opry,” Parton remarked.

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‘Jolene’ singer’s teacher was a towering presence

Another stumbling block for Parton at school was her teacher, whom she perceived as quite intimidating. Her entire school population was held in one classroom with students of all ages being taught by the same person.

“In school I only made average grades,” she explained. “I have a couple of theories about why that was. My first grade school was a scary place for me. It was a one-room school with a teacher who taught first through eighth grade by himself. He was big and tall, with a real loud voice. And I was scared to death of him.”

The Grammy winner felt her young age may have played a part in her fear of her teacher, though at the time her anxiety was genuine.

“He wasn’t mean, but I started school a year early because my birthday was in January, so I was too young to know that he wasn’t,” Parton wrote. “He was pretty strict. He had to be, because some of those older country boys were pretty rambunctious. He didn’t stand for any shenanigans.”

Dolly Parton had a love of learning

Parton shared that her fear coupled with her young age were monumental obstacles for her as a student, which affected her grades.

“I had never really been anywhere but home, so my first impression of school may have gotten me off to a bad start,” the Steel Magnolias star noted. “Too young and too scared was a bad combination.”

Still, Parton possessed a love of reading and thirst for knowledge that went outside her school walls and prompted her to keep gaining wisdom. Today, Parton is one of the entertainment industries most successful celebrities.

“Whatever the real reason was, I know that I was smart,” Parton wrote. “But at the time I wasn’t smart enough to learn a lot from books, even though I liked to read. It took me a while to realize that the more you learn, the easier it is to learn. But I think it didn’t really hit me until after school.”

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