Thomas Edison. Albert Einstein. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Today, when we hear these names, we think: brilliant, genius, inventor, world changer… But, in their early days, the teachers, the adults and the peers that surrounded them had a different point of view.
Albert Einstein’s parent’s worried that he had a learning disability. Even by the age of 9, he struggled with speaking. It was said that he avoided other children and was known for extraordinary temper tantrums. His teachers, despite his success in math, wondered if he was retarded due to his struggle with language and any other subject that didn’t interest him. And although a successful student overall, the style of teaching in the education system was of frustration to Einstein.
Thomas Edison was dyslexic. Sitting quietly in his chair, memorizing the information the teacher was delivering to the class just didn’t work for him. His teacher declared him “addled” or mentally ill and a letter was sent home to his parents stating that he could no longer attend school. Thomas said of his own school experience, “I remember I used to never be able to get along at school. I was always at the foot (bottom) of the class. I used to feel that the teachers did not sympathize with me, and that my father thought I was stupid.” Fortunately, for all of us, Edison’s mom had a different point of view and chose to teach him herself.
Both men lived during the 1800s. Both men have contributed in big ways to the planet. Both men experienced an education system that didn’t recognize or acknowledge the gift that they were.
Here we are today; many years later. And while the school system may look a bit different than it did in the 1800s, we are still operating in much the same way.
Our educational mindset, all too often, is sit down, be still and learn what I say you need to learn in the way I say you need to learn it. Study for the test. Memorize the answers. Color inside the lines. Don’t think outside of the box. Don’t ask too many questions. Don’t be too different.
Kids who don’t fit into this structure are often labeled with “dis-abilities” such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, Autism, and set aside.
What if these “disabilities” are actually abilities? What if the kids who are falling through the cracks of the education system have talents, gifts and capacities that are far greater than we have yet acknowledged? And what if acknowledging the greatness and brilliance of these powerful beings is what is required to create a different possibility in our education system and for our planet?
How many Thomas Edisons and Albert Einsteins have we missed? How many brilliant creators with capacities and abilities that could literally transform life as we know it on this planet have been passed over? Simply because they don’t fit our mold?
What would it be like if we lived in a world where every child was empowered to know that they know? To know that they can be and create anything they choose? A world where they are given access to the tools that would allow them to create that? And what if now’s the time? What if a new vision, a new possibility, a new future for education and for our kids is ready to emerge? Will you choose it? For you? For your kids? For all of the beings in little bodies on the planet?
I wonder… if we let down the walls of judgment, if we included everyone and everything, no matter how different it may seem… I wonder… if we acknowledged the brilliance and greatness of all of the children of our world… I wonder… if we asked, “What else is possible for our kids? For our schools? For our Planet… I wonder… if each of us were empowered to know that we know, young and old alike… I wonder… What beauty, what abundance, what magic, what miracles might just show up… I wonder…?
For more resources on different possibilities with education and kids, check out below some of what’s on offer in the Access Consciousness shop!
Conscious Parenting, Conscious Kids – a collection of narratives by parents and kids
Empowered Parents Empowering Kids – book by Mary Dravis-Parrish
Ricky’s Kids – A Documentary with Ricky Williams
Conscious Children – X-Men Class with Dr. Dain Heer