“Did you fail school or did school fail you?”

    Have you ever heard, or even said, “The bell doesn’t dismiss you. I dismiss you.”  I know I have early on in my career.
    That line is not about empowerment, let alone engagement. It is strictly about compliance.  More on this in a bit.
    This snippet of an interview from Gary Vaynerchuk and Larry King, is a very short, and powerful watch about the compliance we ask from our students:

    The quote that struck me is, “Did you fail school or did school fail you?”
    Some thoughts on this video:
    John Spencer made the following comment:
    I get so tired of hearing about all the ways that “school is failing.” How about we celebrate the innovation that’s already happening in our schools? How about we highlight the creative ways teachers are raising up the next generation of entrepreneurs?
    I agree with a lot of what he says.  Most of our focus needs to be on an abundance mentality, yet I think some times these “jolts” are needed.  These things  and thinking might be happening in many classrooms, but do you is it the majority?
    When Gary talks about his concern for the entrepreneurs he is look to hire being too good at school, I have had the same concern when hiring teachers. If they mastered “school” as students, will they be more reluctant to changing it to something better? It is hard to challenge what worked for some, to create something better for all.  I have really tried to catch myself from saying things like, “our smartest students”, and replacing that with “our smartest academic students”.  They don’t necessarily mean the same thing, and we have to be able to find those gifts in each of our students.
    The other thing that really pushed my thinking is when Gary talks about people not being able to take that “punch in the mouth” from a market. Do we create opportunities for students to take their ideas beyond school? I have happened across to many students who have done amazing things in spite of school, not because of it. Their “free time” is where they become entrepreneurs, developers, innovators, and inventors.  This is not necessarily promoted unless there is a specific course for this within your school.
    Back to the “bell doesn’t dismiss you” comment.  Do you think if learners were truly engrossed in what they are doing, would the bell even matter?
    By the way, why do we have bells in schools still?
    This would be a great video to discuss with your staff and how we encourage kids to push outside those lines, because the world might not necessarily be asking for it, but it definitely needs it.


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