In Search of a Revolution
Fire the bad teachers! Invest more! Raise the standards! We hear it everyday. So called new and innovative ways to fix the growing problems with education today. I contend that these “experts” are missing the point. They keep getting the wrong answer because they’re not asking the right question. There is no amount of money, no person, and no policy that can save us. I liken our current system to a person with an autoimmune disease; the body keeps thinking that it’s fighting off the enemy when it’s really at odds with itself. The change we need starts when individuals like Suli Breaks spread their message. Surprisingly enough, it’s a message that maybe we’ve felt all along but were too afraid express. (For more on the controlling power of fear check out Charles Eisenstein’s blog post)
So here’s the truth, I HATE SCHOOL. I’m sure parents across the country and around the world hear it everyday. However it took years of being in the system and new life experiences for me to understand this sentiment. Why did I hate school? I came to realize that the system wasn’t failing me by its’ standards, but it was failing me by my standards. That’s when it all started to click. Everyone has different goals, different ambitions, and different ways of learning so why are we forcing people through the same path?
We’re all on different paths and it’s important that we don’t let the status quo put up roadblocks. There’s an entire spectrum of intelligence out there that our schools actively put down. I’ve met people who are academically intelligent, emotionally intelligent, spiritually intelligent, creatively intelligent, and even physically intelligent. Don’t let somebody or something tell you what you are. As Ken Robinson says in his RSA Animate video, “Our schools are leading brilliant people to believe they’re not brilliant.”
Every now and then I do find a silver lining however. I see and meet people who truly love education and seek to correct the faults in the system. I’m lucky enough to have had teachers that find great passion in their work. Their energy can make a room buzz and get everyone excited for what’s to come. It’s people like this who understand that educating is much more than just feeding students information. They see their rooms as an organic system where discourse flows naturally, curiosity is rampant, and creativity isn’t punished but encouraged and rewarded. They see all the opportunities to learn outside of a textbook and aspire to inspire others. These teachers and rooms I talk about aren’t exclusive to high schools and colleges. They can be found anywhere and you can build them yourself.
As Suli says: “Build your dreams.”
Jayson De Leon