In our efforts to "fix" education, we've taken a course of action that extirpates the creative spirit and confidence from our youth while drilling them on frivolous things, like memorizing the definition of extirpate for the SAT verbal exam. Over and over, in classroom after classroom, on assignment after assignment, we condition kids to look for the right answer, instead of encouraging them to come up with multiple creative approaches. When they ask, "When will I ever use this?" we respond, "Trust me. This will come in handy down the road." Except it won't, and instead of a vehicle for developing the skills and resources needed to accomplish their dreams. The worst part is, we set these creativity-killing priorities in a world that is screaming. "We need creative problem-solvers!" But our education system has deaf ears.
We are individuals.
With minds of our own.
We are professional.
Educators are not factory workers. We do not work on an assembly line, turning out a product. The flaw in that is that each of our "products" has a mind of his/her own. In a factory, the products end up as they were designed. They each follow the intended design. But in a classroom, our "products" resist us. They bend us. They get us sidetracked with their little issues (parents are divorcing, a pet is dying, a sibling was arrested for drug possession, utilities were discontinues, etc.).
My students are not numbers on a test packet. They are more than products on an assembly line. My students can think for themselves. They have varying curiosities, varying strengths and weaknesses, varying histories, experiences, and interests. They are human beings, and as such they deserve more than me reading a script.