Photo Credit: KMo Foto |
This morning my wife Emily started talking about a book she was reading that really struck a chord with me. The book is about a girl who struggled throughout school. She was disruptive in class so the school wrote her off as challenged and sent her to a special school. Her parents then sent her to a psychologist who determined that she was mentally fine. The psychologist turned on the radio, left the room, then watched as the little girl danced around the room passionately. His diagnosis? Put her in dance classes. That challenged little girl grew to became the choreographer for the play “Cats” and many other Broadway plays that have swept the nation.
I love this story because my youth was not so different. I was diagnosed with a learning disability in elementary school. My problem was that I couldn’t effectively learn and be engaged with the single and narrow method that the school system deemed to work for everyone. As a result my grades suffered throughout high school.
To my rescue came the special education system. My teachers dove deep into understanding my strengths, weaknesses, and how I learn best. Early in high school I was able to discover my true strengths and started to harness them. Doing this early in life has allowed me to have the career and ultimately live the life of my dreams. I’m very fortunate to have gone though the alternate education system. I even had classes that taught me important stuff like how to do a personal budget, how to open a checking account, pay bills, etc. Things everyone else has to learn the hard way.
What saddens me is that I had to be “special” to benefit from this awesome education. Could you imagine if everyone were taught to harness their strengths and follow their passions in the school system? As parents we cannot trust that the school system will take care of it.
Screw your weaknesses, harness your strengths.