Mighty Messy X,
Education is meant to be this process where you find who you are.
You’d have to give credit to our shoddy system for helping you do so in spite of yourself.
Life: It’s full of tough decisions. And this might just be the first of many you will make. Yet, you have chosen well.
You’re a gutsy one. A rebel with a cause. A cause which I will, by all means, further. The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you. Those are not my words. But if the Great B.B. King of the Blues were alive, that’s what he would have liked for me to write…err…sing to you.
So, you dropped out? So what?! You made a choice. You brought something to its end. Guess what? The end is typically where you start from. You’ve closed that chapter, haven’t you? Begin a new one. Start fresh, wherever you are, with what you have, dig up everything you can find.
Take your time to re-examine all that you have been told through school, by every teacher, every textbook, through every lesson. How many were actually worth it? How many did you enjoy? How many made you feel something? Anything? How many have you held onto? How many took care of you, in times of need? How many helped you rise to the occasion?
Ideally you should have memories galore to answer all of the above in the affirmative. But if there aren’t enough, we’re already standing on a springboard to shoot off from. This is square one.
The system failed you. Education has not. Your fight isn’t against what you were taught, it’s against how you were taught it. Because teaching is an art form. And I wish those who teach realize that. Everything I’ve ever learnt and seen about teaching has convinced me that is the case. It’s not enough, to be a good teacher, to know your stuff; though you need to know it. You don’t need to know everything but you do need to know enough to be able to teach it. But more than that, you need to be able to excite people about the material. You need to engage them. You need to peak their imaginations. You need to fuel their creativity; you need to drive their passion for it. You need to get them to want to learn this. You need to find points of entry. That’s the gift of a great teacher. And that’s the gift of art. It evokes something special. It can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning.
I teach because I’m still inspired by a great teacher I had when I was a kid. So, I get that what we do every single day truly matters. After all, teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions, right?
People are different. You’re different. From your friends, your neighbours, even your identical twin, if you have one. We’re all driven by different talents, abilities, passions, interests, motivations and aspirations.
That being said, every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be. If I’m destined to be yours, I’m thrilled. This is going to be one hell of a coup.
My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, keep your love to learn and yell for help if you need it.
Meanwhile, even as I steer you, I’m willing to veer off the lesson plan, follow your lead and learn with you, if that’s what it takes to change the course of education.
With the firmest handshake I could possibly share,
In sync and orderly,
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