Shape your own future…

This morning I read an article, “Need a Job? Invent It” by Thomas L. Friedman.

Schools need to be less about the bubble-sheet testing, and more about “play, passion and purpose…”

Creativity and imagination.

Innovation and entrepreneurship.

“because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me, ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’”

I can think of a Facebook post my sister wrote recently about being frustrated with high school and its limitations. I can remember feeling the same way while I was there. I felt high school was too structured, too boring and too limited in its electives. I couldn’t wait until I graduated and could move onto college. I guess that’s what you get for living in a town of 600 people and graduating in a class of 50 students…

So yes, public schooling is limited: with fewer financial resources, fewer electives and now with fewer teachers. On top of this, there are so many guidelines and restrictions on what teachers are allowed to teach.

Why are students forced to memorize dates and facts, when (as Friedman suggests in his article) anyone can look up the answers in half a second on the Internet…Why are curriculums focused on teaching students to pass a state test at the end of the year? Instead of getting tested on the same chunk of US History from the Revolutionary War until the Industrial Revolution 8 years in a row, why not learn about things that matter now? Real events that are happening around the world today?

I still believe that within these restrictions, teachers can excite and inspire students to absorb all they can—like a sponge thirsty for each drop of water…And not to simply recite facts like an encyclopedia—but to take that core foundation, foster their imagination and creativity, and combine it with their passions, with their curiosity and with a yearning to make changes in the world…

There needs to be more hands-0n, innovative, and creative ways of teaching students…

It’s funny to look back now and really appreciate that core foundation my school did provide me. Of course basic reading, math and critical thinking skills were important—but even more valuable, was the inspiration and encouragement a few teachers gave me beyond that…

The ones who taught me to think of the bigger picture—of the world around me and all that life has to offer beyond a 9-5 desk job.

Gone are the days where you can walk into a company and work the same Monday-Friday 9-5 job for 40 years until retirement.

And gone are the days where you can graduate high school or college and easily find a job…

It’s up to us to create and shape our own futures.

It’s up to each individual to do find their passions and go after them.

Knowing and acknowledging that alone, excites me to design that future for myself, whatever it may be…

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