Rethink Education – Episode #088


Can we agree that we have all been blessed with special gifts and talents? It’s safe to say that each of us excel in something. It may be Science and Mathematics. It may be in playing an instrument or communicating with others. It may be in blowing bubbles out of bubble gum (See the video for Guinness Book of World Records). It’s sad to think that some of us have been made to feel that we’re not smart or creative because the things we’re good at aren’t necessarily valued in school.

We are being forced to make extra time for the things we love. Why couldn’t I take 4 art electives in the 3rd grade? That example may be a bit extreme, but it’s a valid question.  In the 4th grade our music teacher (Mrs. Judy Hodge) would come once a month and let us pluck around on the xylophone and allow us to tinker with a recorder. In Elementary School you get a smidgen of art, music, and dance. And you get a triple dose of Math, Language, and Science. If you come from an affluent family you may have the opportunity (after school hours and on weekends) to take private lessons, but again we’re being forced to MAKE time for what we love. The truth is we’re not all good in the core subjects and we’re led to believe that you’re dumb if you score low in those categories. I wonder what Vincent Van Gogh’s class rank was? I wonder how well William Shakespeare did in Statistics? Yes, core subjects are very important. But, you should not feel inferior if they are not your forte. Your gift may lie elsewhere.


Gillian Lynn
Ken Robinson (See TED video below) tells the story of Gillian Lynn (Choreographer of Cats and Phantom of the Opera). When she was in school she was hopeless. The school thought she had a learning disorder. Today, they would have diagnosed her with ADHD. She couldn’t sit still. Her mother took her to a helpful specialist. After spending time with both Gillian and her mother, the specialist turned on the radio and excused himself (taking mom with him). They watch Gillian quietly from another room and noticed that she immediately began to dance. The specialist said, “Your daughter isn’t sick, she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.” The school was full of other students that couldn’t sit still. It was full of children who had to move to think. The rest is history. What would have happened if the specialist had put her on meds and told her to calm down?

Know your strengths. Find your passion. Encourage children in their areas of interests. That’s how we all become better.

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