There is a wave of thought that we must do all we can to keep the self-esteem of children intact - to the point that we aren't being realistic with kids about their abilities. Why does every child on the Little League team now receive a trophy? They all ain't that good. You know who should get the trophy? The most valuable player. And when you child cries, "Why didn't I get trophy?" you should respond, "Because you aren't the MVP." Period. End of discussion.
Ironically, they get a lot of help from corporate and celebrity sponsors. I'm OK with that as long as they aren't just handing the cash over to the students, but invest in them wisely and encourage personal responsibility.
Responsibility. That's that elusive quality that we say we want to encourage, but we act differently. In government schools, we are often relegated to giving away more than empowering. We provide breakfasts, lunches, and sometimes suppers. We provide before-school, after-school childcare. We hand out free food for the weekends and turkey dinners for the holidays. Not that some of those things aren't necessary - after all, we are a compassionate people - but perhaps we should rethink everything.
Empowerment would indicate that I teach my students to fend for themselves - earn their income and improve their outcome - not that I hand them a solution. And when I say teach, I mean that they will not come by empowerment , in our society, by natural means.
What has happened to America, and why isn't everyone inspired to run naturally? We are a nation built by people with a tremendous work ethic, people who weren't afraid of a challenge. Now, it seems Runners are becoming the rarity, and everyone feels they are owed something. And the sense of entitlement that is so commonplace in America starts with you. No one promised you that you will have the job you have forever.