Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Do we really teach for the future?

There are so many times I wish to have a speech like that. Sometimes I think I am giving a speech like that. But I really don't know if it is reaching in to the core of my students' heart. I think it is "the" wish of students to chance in some way, the way the students see life.
I feel scared to see that what I am teaching it can be just mere content, empty with the time, instead of really giving an important tool that they can use in the future.
Let's face the truth, the school is a nice bubble, where students live comfortable, sometimes, even more comfortable than in their own houses. But someday, they will have to face the truth, and the truth is cruel and hard. That is why many students, who are leaving highschool, feel depressed.
For sure they need information, contents, the raw facts, but how much of that is really helpful for their lives in the future.
Some days ago, we saw the movie of Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness" (yes, with letter "y"). And I got the previous video as the essence of the whole movie. The phrase is so simple, but at the same time, so powerful "You want  something, then go and get it, period".
Students tend to follow instructions, and ok, they have to. But at the same time, they need to have their own goals, their own ambitions. They need to be innovative and creative. At the school they learn rules, and the follow them, but they have to know how to adjust them, change them, create more,  ... not just breaking them. They must be able to face a hard reality that is due to come. And as teachers, what are we doing?
But I believe that this part of the job is so easy for teachers, the problem is that most of the students are not ready to face this reality, and some don't see how it can be until they are already living it.

What can we do to make them understand the importance of studying?
How can they feel how is this cruel reality, still living in the bubble?
How can they believe and trust in the teachers?


  1. I am going through a similar process as a (relatively) new step-dad to a four year old. How do you teach a kid to both respect authority and have the audacity to dream big and go for it?

    The conclusion I have come to is that I need to be an example to him. If I want him to think a certain way, I need to show him that thinking that way has worked out very well for me. Then he will want to follow my example.

    That's where the power comes from in that speech from Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. The child sees his father struggling to make things right. He's not perfect but he is an example of perseverance.

    Makes me think of the phrase "Be the change you want to see in the world."

  2. Thanks John for your comment. It is really hard to see the thin limit between being a follower and a leader. I want my students to be creative and dream big as you say, but I dont want them to lose the respect and admiration for those who are trying to teach them.

  3. You're quite welcome -- keep up the blogging! This way, when you find out all the answers, you can tell the rest of us!


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