Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why are Schools Still Promoting Mediocrity?

This week I also visited with my mentee. She is such a cool chick! This is only the second time we meet and I still like her. We had a very interesting conversation this time. She told me she needs to apply for college scholarships and I asked her if she was interested in journalism and broadcast. (Her counselor told me she was interested in journalism and that's why he matched us.) She said she is but that a teacher advised her to pursue a career that would give her job security, like nursing.

I almost went through the roof! It took all that I had not to go off on that teacher. I just couldn't believe that there are still teachers and possibly counselors who are promoting mediocrity. It made me angry because I thought of my own counselor who didn't help me apply for any scholarships, except one small Hispanic one.

Don't get me wrong. Before you get angry with me thinking that I don't consider nursing a noble career. My sister was a nurse for twenty years before she passed away and I had a great respect for her. I believe that all service careers are wonderful careers if the person who pursues that career is passionate about it, because you have to be passionate to do a good job. Which is what I asked her. It took a bit to get her to admit that she's not passionate about nursing like she is about broadcast journalism. With that said I told her that that's what she needs to pursue, the career that excites her.

I want to introduce her to friends in journalism and broadcast careers who have achieved a lot in their careers. I need to try and undo the damage that her teacher has already done, making her believe that she shouldn't strive for an "unatainable"career. I told her that her success depends on her and her passion, not on what other people decide for her.

I hope that I helped her see this. Not until teachers stop promoting mediocrity will our children strive for more in life.

1 comment:

Tomo K. said...

Wow, I think you hit it dead on with this post. Going through school I would always walk out of the couseling office wondering what had been more fake: the counselor's make -up, or her advice. Then I would tell my friends that the best couselors would be made out of other students, not adults being paid to act like they care about the futures of kids when they're really just trying to make it till the lunch bell and jet home. haha.

I agree with you whole-heartedly. Teachers in school always promote mediocrity. One time a teacher told my mom that getting a C grade was "great," and my mom had the same reaction. If a C grade is good, who cares to get an A?

It's good to know you told that student to follow her dreams. Being a teacher might be a job where you're simply "paying the bills," and that's why they often give such lackadaisical advice. I think you're right in believing that your passion can in fact be your living.

Good job. Rock on. Nice blog :-)