“If all of your favorite makers got together and collaborated, what would they make with you leading the crew?” Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
“Make things with the time, space and materials you have, right now.” – Kleon
“Remember, finished is always better than perfect.” Go Design Something by Kristin Anthony
“When I started in business, I was often lonely, so I placed favorite quotes all over my apartment. They made me feel like I was never really alone. I would type up and print out my favorites on a piece of paper or cut them out of magazines and tape them to my wall.”
“Learning how someone else is already doing the same thing you want to do, or a version of it, can eliminate fear—every path is easier to follow when you see someone else’s footprints already on it.”
“…seek as much advice as I can—from everyone. You can often get great advice from all kinds of people if you just ask.” — Blake Mycoskie
“Learn all you can from your mentors. Try to work alongside them. Their passion will amplify your passion. The concept of an apprentice is an ancient and wise one, and if you can find such a position early in your career and have the chance to work with a master, take it! The enthusiasm, deep understanding, and endless curiosity of a true expert will infect you, whether you are simply trying to reinforce your own knowledge about a hobby or interest, or whether you are figuring out the kind of entrepreneur you want to become.”
“…I collected many more wonderful mentors. To this day, I keep lists of gardens, gardeners, and nurseries…”
“…I have met many brilliant entrepreneurs from whom I have collected many ideas and new perspectives.” — Martha Stewart
Today, I’m proud to have a guest blogger from Washington Co. High School. Below is a speech that he presented in his public speaking class this semester. I love his ideas and I’m so happy he’s agreed to share them here. Thank you, Cole! 🙂
Photo Credit: flickr
The School System is Broken
by Cole Perkins, aka “A Random 9th Grader”
The school system is broken and it needs to be fixed now. The sad truth is that the current school system is not effective and is incredibly outdated. It does not address the need for every student and it tends to focus on subjects that are not essential to being successful in life. It is bad that school prioritizes subjects such as complex algebra and science when so very few people need that information in their life. Knowing this information for the sake of knowing it should not be essential and should only be optional for people to pursue, their are many problems in our current school system, some of them are being addressed others are ignored.
An awful thing in our education system is that it is very broad in the way it teaches and often doesn’t care about what some students may want or need, focusing on narrow and complex topics to teach while ignoring what students may actually want. It’s even worse that most colleges could care less how well you did in all of your classes, and seem to care more about whether or not you have played some extracurricular activity, that you honestly don’t care about.
Also another fatal flaw in our current school system is the idea that students should have little to no control of their own education, and that they should only be able to pick a few little classes that they may or may not get into. Students have absolutely no freedom or control on what they want to do, and in a few cases where they do have some control it is heavily restricted by what the school wants and desires for the students to do.
Now would you like to know a fun fact? America ranks 14th in education in the world it may not sound that bad but you would think we would want to strive to be number one. But do you want to know who has the best education system? Finland, and you know what is so odd about that? Finnish schools are known for giving very little homework and only have tests that are optional.
Another absolutely wonderful thing about Finland education is that it gives more chances for students to do what they actually want to do! It is a truly wonderful thing that Finland made a system that actually works both good and efficiently, a system that actually benefits the people it’s supposed to be teaching.
By now, you may be expecting a solution to this problem and it is actually very simple, if we want to raise the education standard and allow students to fill their goals in life all we have to do is make the system more of a democracy and allow students to have a bigger say in their education. Giving students more power into what they actually want to learn will turn them into more creative and innovative people, which is what we currently need. The system we have now was designed to turn students into mindless obedient factory workers who must only speak when spoken to and who must only get things done and nothing else: a system that teaches them that their opinions mean absolutely NOTHING.
However, times are changing and factory appeal has gone down. Students want to be free to make their own choices. After all, this generation is supposed to lead us into the future. Also let’s take the example of Finland and copy what they are doing; break down the divide between grades, because the more we divide the students the bigger the gap of education gets. Not separating students into categories has proven to work, by good old Finland.
Another grand thing we can do that Finland is also doing so it is proven to work, is cut the time students spend in schools and classrooms. Why must this be done? Well it has been proven multiple times that people will function and work better if they get both more sleep, and more free time between activities.
In Finland the average time students start school is 9:00 through 9:45 AM and finish at 2:00 through 2:45 PM. And from what I have researched Finnish students have less classes and more break times, the average break between classes is 15 to 20 minutes. At first this may seem confusing but if you think about it a little, it begins to make perfect sense, fewer classes means students won’t have to memorize as much and long breaks between classes means students have time to digest all of the information that they have learned.
So overall Finland has proven that when it comes to education less is so much more. If you want to have an actual good education and be prepared for life and know how to properly adult, then make the school system aware that it is an absolute failure and it needs to change or else we will all suffer the consequences.
There are many issues with our current education system and I have only talked about some of them. But I believe the main thing to fix is the issue of students having so little freedom to decide what they want to do. Many children don’t want to learn complex algebra or know how many wives Henry had. Humans as a species are people who will naturally learn on their own; we don’t need to hold their hand and tell them to do this and that.
In this very classroom where I am writing this document, several students have been working hard on their own projects that they actually want to do and care about doing. It is time that we fix the school system and give the students who are forced to come here everyday to listen to complete nonsense only to forget about it all later an actual choice in what they want to learn. We need to give students more freedom, more space, and more responsibility.
In history, democracy has proven time and time again to be the best option; so let’s implement some democracy in our school system. By the time students get into high school, they should no longer be forced to learn something they do not want to; and they should not be punished for not reaching the schools expectations. Give students complete and total freedom to pick every class they want. It’s not as crazy as it may sound, in fact it is the best option.
I just finished reading this chapter from the book, 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning: Teaching for Success, and want to make a few notes and reflect upon some of the key ideas.
- The chapter’s main message: Learning requires positive relationships — whether between learners and teachers, or between learners and their peers.
These are the 3 major factors to developing positive relationships:
- teacher expectations
- teacher-student relationships
- reducing anxiety
“Keep in mind that everyone is capable of learning, even in situations that seem hopeless.”
- Students perform better in classrooms where teachers create “a sense of fairness, predictability, and thus safety to be engaged in learning, with all the related notions of making errors, seeking help, and working positively with others.”
- Teachers can reduce student anxiety by “creating conditions where it is OK to make mistakes in front of others, to actively explore other ideas and critique them, and to learn from others.”
A smile is contagious.
“Just as a smile sends out positive signals about relationship building, a failure to smile sends out negative signals. Teachers who walk into the classroom grumpy should not be surprised that their students never laugh and are more inclined to be grumpy also…”
Rules and procedures and keeping your word also create stability and reduce anxiety in students.
Overall, the following is an important takeaway about the power of teacher-student relationships. (Teacher-student relationship: effect size of 0.72)
“When students do not know what to do next, when they make mistakes, or when they are confused, the power of the trust developed by the teacher and among peers can then really pay off.”
“Think tactically: not emotionally.” – Kobe Bryant
Failure is an emotion that gets in the way of your analysis of a failed attempt. Instead of getting stuck in the emotional distress and disappointment of failing, you need to FOCUS on determining why your attempt failed. What weakness(es) or circumstance(s) contributed to the failed attempt and what steps can you take to correct the problem? So, when an attempt at something doesn’t work, you can tactically analyze the problem, pinpoint the issue and take action to make corrections.
In Brett Ledbetter’s video, he highlights an interview with Kobe Bryant in which he was confronted with the poor performance of his early career and the brutal public criticism that accompanied it. Listen closely to Bryant’s explanation of why he feels failure doesn’t exist.
Bryant’s comments about failure are so fascinating! His perceptions of failure are based on the fact that “the story continues.” If you fail on Monday, you have Tuesday to try again. Bryant goes on to explain that the only way to fail is to “stop and to not learn.” So, if you learned from the failure and go on to grow and improve your game, it wasn’t a failure.
Wow! What an idea… You have the power to flip the script. You can measure your success by how much you grow and learn: not by the outcome. Be the best that YOU can be; don’t measure your success against the success of other people.
In the game of life, you must discover the “game” worth playing — the game YOU were meant to play. Next, you have to FOCUS on growing and learning; don’t give into temptation and wallow in the disappointment of a failed attempt. Keep moving forward and don’t play to win or lose; play to LEARN and GROW.
“…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” — Philippians 3:13b