The other day, one of my former fourth grade students, who is now a high school sophomore, posted something on Facebook that struck a chord with me. And of course, as her former teacher (and as an educator), I saw it as my duty to appropriately respond.
So, here are a handful of thoughts that come to mind:
- In Seth Godin's must-see TEDx Talk – Stop Stealing Dreams – he repeatedly asks, “What is school for?” And in my opinion, one of the top priorities of school should be to help students accomplish exactly what Faline is asking – turning passions into careers. Seriously, if this isn't our goal, what are we doing?
- If students are able to turn their passions into careers, we have to ask ourselves, “Is this happening because of or in spite of school?” In other words, do students play the game of school and then go home to do what's worthwhile and relevant? Or, does the worthwhile and relevant take place within our learning spaces?
- In a previous post, I declared, “Not only should student be learning how to do their work, they should be learning and experiencing how to share and market their creations.” Why hasn't this approach become the norm in our schools? Do students fear making their work public, or are teachers' comfort zones serving as the main barrier?
- Is school truly failing our students and/or entrepreneurs? (much like Gary Vaynerchuk tells us in this one-minute video)
- In classes in which entrepreneurship is being taught (in isolation or integrated with other subject areas), could works by the likes of Vaynerchuk, Godin, Eric Ries, and Tom and David Kelley serve as “textbooks?” (much like I recommended today, at a middle school planning meeting for our project based learning school-within-a-school, which is scheduled to open next year)
And finally, if you haven't read Crush It! (the book I recommended to Faline), make sure to check it out. Also, I can highly recommend Empower by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani (the guys responsible for the quote in this blog post's featured image).
How can we help our students turn passions into careers?
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