Our Education Problem

“The problem in education is not a lack of money–we’re spending more than ever before. The problem is not a matter of access to the “right curriculum.” The problem is we have abandoned the priorities of character and moral development along with teaching reasoning and objective truth. We have failed to give children a foundation they can use to learn on their own.” Dr. Everett Piper, Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth ~
I remember my daughter coming home from a day in high school quite a few years ago. She had asked a question in class. Apparently, the teacher didn’t know the answer and didn’t care to search it out. Her response? “You don’t need to know that.”
The teacher moved on–perhaps embarrassed at her own ignorance–perhaps not. According to her, my daughter didn’t need to know the answer in order to…?
It was a foreign language class. Theoretically, my daughter has had no need at all of that subject since she has not visited that land nor engaged a non-English speaker from there. She just wanted to know how to say a particular word.
And the teacher shut her down, dumping water on a spark of curiosity. Continue reading “Our Education Problem”

Doing a Hard Thing

What appealed to me about his story is that he picked the hard thing to do.
It wasn’t that he had played football at the University of Georgia. Not my team.
It wasn’t that he now plays for the New England Patriots. Not my team either.
It was that he found something hard and decided to work at it anyway. And then he did something to encourage others who also may find it hard.
Now, Malcolm Mitchell has a Super Bowl ring. But he told CBS News that getting to the big game isn’t his biggest accomplishment. Reading well is. He found reading hard. But he didn’t give up. He just worked harder.
And he didn’t let his image as a star athlete get in his way.
A chance meeting in a Barnes and Noble bookstore enhanced his literary journey. A woman invited him to her book club. It was a club of readers and he had become a reader. Nevermind that everyone else in the group was an over forty woman. Malcolm joined anyway.
Malcolm had realized when he got to college that his reading skills weren’t what they needed to be for him to succeed as a student. He decided he wouldn’t rest on the laurels of his athletic prowess.
He picked up a book whenever he could.
Then he wrote one. He was still a college student when it was published. The Magician’s Hat encourages young readers to open themselves up to the magic of reading.
Malcolm Mitchell would say, yes, reading is magical. Hard too? Yes, sometimes it is.
But maybe that’s how we find magic. We decide to do the hard thing. And the world opens up to us.
Dust may settle on Malcolm Mitchell’s Super Bowl ring. But magic will be with him for the rest of his days.

Note: Malcolm Mitchell has established a children’s literacy foundation to “introduce book ownership to students in households where reading is not a priority and to improve literacy in schools with below grade-level reading skills.” Not on my team, but go, Malcolm.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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