Real Learners, Real People, Real Responses

The vision: a book of responses from professional athletes, celebrities, musicians, and other well-known, successful individuals about the impact of education on their lives. (An example from Peyton Manning is here.)

The background: School isn’t ultimately about content, test scores, or even skills; it isn’t even about college or career readiness. Rather, it is about character, discipline, and the habits of mind that apply to all aspects of a successful and fulfilled life.

The problem: we spend so much time preoccupied with the former—because it is, after all, the stuff we are teaching—that we lose our credibility when it comes to the latter. Consequently, students don’t believe teachers when we speak about the benefits of education.

Who: responses from people who are…

  • finished with school (or could be)
  • successful and well known in their professional area
  • reasonably positive role models
  • could speak to the impact that education makes in their lives

What: explaining a message about education…

  • Not: stay in school, or you should go to college because…
  • Instead: forcing yourself to get out of bed on a cold winter morning to go somewhere you don’t really want to be… or you should work with that teacher you hate because…
  • Work and study habits that have carried on into their careers
  • The ability to get what you want from people who don’t agree with you
  • The ability to see another point-of-view
  • Conflict resolution, or how to stay out of trouble
  • How to get noticed, and when not to get noticed
  • Increased empathy
  • Instilled motivation

How you can help:

  • Suggest people to reach out to
  • Help me reach out to them
  • Re-tweet and share
  • Encourage the idea
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