My relationship with the system of education has been a love/hate one to put it mildly. While I loved interacting with my students and engaging them with ideas and encouraging their own creative thought, I found myself in a war against the system because I just couldn’t conform. I could not follow the standard protocol that was expected of me. I couldn’t waste my time by wasting the students time. I tried, I really did try, but the battles that happened within me and between myself and the system finally became too much.
It takes all kinds to make up this world and I have the utmost respect for all teachers out there, no matter how you excel at teaching. I used to admire those teachers that were praised and exulted for high test scores and meeting the expectations set when county officials would come through the building. I was always the teacher they would come to and say, “while we like the higher level thinking that is going on in your classroom we do not see our methods being executed, nor do we see you following the curriculum like the rest of your grade level.” Sigh, yeah, if your kid had me as a teacher we probably spent hours discussing the impact of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Lyndon B. Johnson and how who they were, their life experiences and the climate of the country during their lifetime impacted their words, thoughts and decisions and how these things are still evident, or not, in today’s society. That may have taken a whole afternoon, which meant that science and math may not have been formally taught on that particular day. Then the next morning to make up for time lost in math we may have held an impromptu math bowl that lingered on till lunch. Needless to say, my methods were frowned upon because they did not fit into what the curriculum, system, and powers that be believed that the kids needed. But did the students not know in a sense what they needed? Were their interests and inquiries not important? I realize that order and structure have their place in society and truthfully part of the job of the school system is to impose those things.
In an article written by Joe Martino “This is what happens when a kid leaves traditional education,” Joe very candidly explains the role of the public school system in America by stating, “Education is often considered the foundation for creating a well rounded and productive society, but this belief usually stems from being sure that those coming out of the education system are able to keep the cogs of society turning in order to maintain profit margins of large companies in a system that requires constant growth. Instead of having creative and out-of-the-box-thinking people, the current style of education creates more submissive, obedient and trained graduates so the current system is always maintained.”
You can ask my mother and she will quickly tell you that words like submissive, obedient and trained are no where to be found on the spectrum that is me. And because of this I am willing to guess that my son will be very similar. This excites me, until I think about him going to school. Recently, I was sent a link that led me to the most fascinating young man named Logan Laplante. You may have heard of him, if not get ready because this young man is a force to be reckoned with. This 13 year old has, in my opinion, already reached what many of us are aspiring towards still in our adult lives. Listen as Logan describes how his parents courage to allow him to “hack” his education has set him on the path to achieving his goals of being happy and healthy, and have allowed him to expand himself far beyond the walls of the system by following his passions. As I listened to Logan I saw my own son in him, curious, thirsty for knowledge, self assured, confident, full hope and possibility. These are thing that I seek to continue to grow within my son. While home schooling or as Logan puts it, hack schooling, may or may not be the direction our family takes, I thought the idea dynamic enough to share with you.
Here’s Logan! Hack schooling to the fullest!
I am still learning this tech stuff, so I was not able to figure out how to make this link active. Simply cut and paste it into your browser. I promise you will not feel like the time was wasted. http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Hackschooling-Makes-Me-Happy-Lo;search%3Atag%3A%22tedxuniversityofnevada%22
Joe Martino This is what happens when a kid leaves traditional education http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/01/07/this-is-what-happens-when-a-kid-leaves-traditional-education
Tedx talks: Logan Laplante Hack Schooling Makes Me Happy