“You’re failing again, Hector!” my teacher said.
“But, Miss Peach, please be patient.”
“I’m calling your parents!”
“No, please don’t call them, Miss Peach! They will get more worried about me. They ask me why I’m not doing good at school and I can’t find answers. Please don’t!”
I was a terrible student and this ruined my childhood.
My parents took me to every doctor they could afford. They checked my sight and my hearing. They would get me extracurricular teachers to help me catch up with the group.
I was only judged and criticized for my weaknesses and what THEY considered was wrong with me. NEVER was I praised for my strengths.
This is how I grew up, bullied by a system that told me I was a substandard person, in other words… a LOSER.
Now… I will control my emotions and I won’t write the resentful words I have in my mind. I still get angry and emotional about this.
Do you know what happens to elephants that are tied to a rope and a pole from a very young age?
When young, the rope is enough to hold him — after a few months, the elephant will stop believing he can break free even though he is strong enough to do so.
For the rest of his life, the elephant will be held back by his belief system, NOT by the rope. He will never try to break free.
Do you know what happens to kids when you tell them repeatedly they’re not good at school?
You destroy their self-esteem, and with that their confidence to think!
Our broken school system is oppressive, it expects us to comply with their standards, NOT our potential.
So, how do you teach a kid HOW to think, not what to think?
GIVE THEM FREEDOM!
Stop judging! Stop evaluating kids and give them the opportunity to solve.
Let kids create, let them struggle with problems. Give them the freedom to test and fail. Kids need the guidance of adults to facilitate the exercise, but NOT to give them the solutions.
Thinking is a messy process, it demands failure. It’s a process of trial and error. Creativity and innovation demand risk. Human potential is unlimited when presented with the challenge and the freedom to solve.
Sadly, that’s NOT how school works.