In a recent Fast Company article about Pharrell, he says, “The school system isn’t spending a lot of time looking for specific potential. We are bred to be worker bees; to grow up, get married, have a kid, drive a Volvo, do our taxes, invest in something, find a hobby.” More on my thoughts about this quote in a future blog post.
Upon reading the article, I was reminded of a conversations I had with my cousin Cam a couple months back. Here’s a recap of one that stood out most.
Cam: What if college was free but you had to pay for high school… people can’t get jobs with general education. If they were provided with job specific skills right after middle school, they could begin working in their career. While people who don’t know what they want like could pay for high school and learn all the random stuff to get a feel for what they like.
Me: Hmmmm… that’s actually a cool idea. Kind of like trade school right out the gate.
Cam: Yeah… high school wastes year on random classes that can’t be transferred to any career or written on a resume. Schools would save money technically and students would begin a career at 17-18 instead of at 26 years old with debt from college… LOL… just a thought.
Me: I like the way your mind works, young lad.
Let me start off by saying that Cam is isn’t much younger than me. He turned 20 two months ago and I turned the big 2-3 about a month ago. (Sidenote: It’s my Jordan year… Yay!) Just had to say that because I called him a young lad. He went on to point out that in comparison to me, he’s not that young, as if I didn’t know. Thanks, Cam! Lol!
Back on track…
If you knew me during my last year of college, you likely got a taste of passion for education reform. I am a product of private, charter and public education. Through my educational experience, I have witnessed what works and what doesn’t. For that reason, there is a great need for education reform. I don’t have the answer, like Sway, but I did have the desire to make a change. During my senior year in college, I applied to be a members of an organization that trains nearly graduated students to be teachers at schools in low income areas. Luckily, I didn’t get accepted (because I don’t think I was ready/meant to do that) but I also still want to do something, even if that means offering up ideas for how we can edit the system to be more beneficial to our students and future leaders.
Education (in some form) is important. And I also want to recognize that school in its traditional form is not for everyone. I know a lot of young teachers that are innovative in their approach in the classroom. The problem is most of them work in alternative, or charter, schools. Implementing new ideas in the classroom throughout every system/district will be a benefit. I also think exposing students to a wide variety of professions early would be great. I will continue to generate ideas about how our system can be reformed, or rebuilt altogether.
Maybe I’ll interview some of my brilliant teacher friends for November 5th. For now, what do you think about Cam’s idea about giving high school aged students access to field-specific education?