Hey you, Trout…climb that tree.

A reminder: This post courtesy of Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers.

1. What is your favorite quote and why?

There’s a pretty good chance that Julie meant for this question to apply to quotes taken from books, but since she didn’t actually specify that I’m going to use a non-book-related quote that I absolutely love. It’s a quote from Albert Einstein that’s been floating around for a while, and I think it should be stamped on the forehead of every educator in North America.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I love this quote because of the truth in it. I understand the reasoning behind a standardized education system, but I do truly believe that this system fails many children who simply aren’t that kind of genius. For example, I went to school with a guy (I won’t name names, of course!) who was not an academic by a long shot…he was placed in the lowest level of math our high school offered and still had a hard time passing the course. I’m sure there were times when the system made him feel stupid. But here’s the thing: that guy is an amazing cook, and he went on to find work doing what he loves, creating delicious works of art.

That guy was lucky. A lot of others aren’t. There are lots of kids out there who have a variety of fun and marketable skills that simply aren’t considered or encouraged by our standardized education system. Some kid could have the spark in him to be the creator of the next worldwide sensation, but he’s sitting in a classroom right now having his teacher and classmates imply that he’s an idiot because he can’t figure out fractions, or doesn’t understand how to read the Periodic Table.

It’s a sin that we don’t encourage kids to look for their own strengths, rather than imposing upon them our own ideas of what ‘strengths’ are.

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