This past week I have been honored to be at the TEDActive Conference in Palm Springs, CA. The folks at TED are launching a new website for education and they invited some amazing educators to attend and help them with their upcoming launch. First of all, I want to say thanks to the folks at TED and to Kohl’s department store for providing us this opportunity. It was a mind-expanding week of learning and connecting.
Though the TED talks were amazing, what was more amazing was the time to chat and get to meet and share ideas with a wide variety of people. I met someone who worked on the Human Genome Project. I met CFO’s and CEO’s, doctors, technology leaders, and hedge fund managers.
But, one of my best connections was with one of the security guards at the conference. Mark told me how he hadn’t seen his wife and 12 year old daughter for a week because he was trying to provide for them. He shared with me some of his dreams for his girl and how his daughter loves to dance. And then as I was about to leave, he asked me what I recommended so his daughter would have a better life than his. Should he push her to excel in Math or Science? He wanted to know what I thought he should do to better his girl’s future. As I pondered how to answer him, it actually came out pretty quickly: “Mark, you need to let your daughter pursue what she is passionate about. Encourage her to pursue HER dreams.”
Every kid is different. They are all individuals. They all need to pursue their dreams, not ours. We as educators should see all our students as individuals and help them all pursue their dreams. Will you join me?