I had the pleasure of sitting down with my old friend, Carolyn Terry to chat about the state of education today. We hold no high ranking position and probably nothing will change as a result of our conversation. (Although you never know!)
What we wanted to accomplish was to just start a conversation. Why is school such a struggle for some and so easy for others? Why do we value one measure of success in school and another in life? I have heard many successful celebs say they hated school and didn't do well because they were more creative and less of a left brain thinker. Yet our culture reveres and admires them in life. It is admirable to work hard and achieve your goals and dreams. But shouldn't those goals and dreams be fostered in school and not considered electives and your only a smart kid if you can be successful at math and science?
I never felt successful in school unless it was art class or creative writing. Then I was happy, history too as long as we were discussing events not regurgitating dates of battles and treaties being signed. (Magna wha?) School was a source of anxiety, fear of failure and general unhappiness for me. They say you parent the way you want to be parented so I was diligent about providing tutors, extra help, medication and anything and everything else I thought would help my own children be happy, confident and more successful students. And they were and are! However I really wished we had a system in place that instead of drugging someone to focus we concentrated on what naturally grabs their attention and steered them in that direction.
We all have a chance at success, every single one of us. The system that is currently in place does not support bringing out the best in everyone. We have a skewed image of what is considered successful in school. We tell our kids to be the shepard not the sheep and never be afraid to stand out and not be part of the crowd and in turn say, but you need to learn only these things, in only this way or your dumb. Hmmm. Does not compute. You are worthy of success, find out what your passion is and follow it. I believe in you.