When we finished rehearsing “That Which Remains” by Andrea Ramsey (text by Helen Keller) one rehearsal, I looked around at my twelve students.
I asked, “What are you waiting for? Helen Keller, who never heard a word spoken or saw a mouth move, and who spent the last decades of her life giving speeches. What do you have to overcome? What are you waiting for?”
I am increasingly frustrated with students waiting to be handed things, content to plod along. They lack self-motivation, they lack self-discipline, they lack curiosity. If they have audacious dreams, they don’t seem intent on taking the steps to grab them.
And we taught them to be that way.
By the time they are in high school, students have had a decade of being told not to move faster than their neighbor. Don’t show initiative, there isn’t a reward for beating your goal or mastering something quickly.
Lock step with your neighbor, do the work I told you to do, no less and no more.
Every week, I feel more and more strongly that one of my primary jobs is to wake them up, get them to dream and take steps toward those dreams. They need to be deprogrammed from their lockstep education, so they can have a hope of creating a life worth celebrating.
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