Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Parent for Student vs. Education Today

Parent for Student vs. Education Today

There is an amazing filmmaker, speaker, activist, his name is Prince EA. (Click here to see who Prince EA is.)  He speaks of truth, love, kindness and so much more. He is an inspiration.  The Oola Guys say, “you are designed by God for a purpose.“ (Click here to see what Oola is.) Prince AE and the Oola Guys are truly living their purpose.   My goal is to help my children find and live their purpose.

I was introduced to the work of Prince AE by my 17 year old daughter, Emily.  His messages are very strong and leave lasting impressions. My daughter struggles putting her thoughts into words, but when she does her thoughts are profound.  She has an amazing mind.  She has always been disregarded as shy and quiet. When in fact her mind is not shy and quiet, but it is hard for her to put her thoughts into words. She is a junior Amsterdam High School, in Amsterdam, NY.  She is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.  Her project stemmed from a writing she did a year ago, it was about school one day when she was extremely frustrated. Teachers have always said “she’s just shy."  I always had a feeling that she had more of a struggle then just shyness. She gets excellent grades all year on classwork, homework and in school tests, but any standardized type test since 3rd grade she would fail. The breaking point for her and us as parents was last year during our nightly battle at the table doing homework.  Whenever she would say she didn't understand we would try to help her and then tell her to ask her teachers for help.  Well on that particular day when she in fact did ask for help from a teacher the response was, "I don't understand why you don't understand," at that point Emily shut down, deciding to never ask that teacher for help again.  After discussion about the frustration we decided to get an educational evaluation.  It turns out she has a processing delay and test anxiety. So in fact she does struggle to put her thoughts into words and the professionals agree.  As a result of having her tested she can now get extra time and a separate location when taking tests.  She has showed some improvement, but still not where she wants to be and now is realizing the bigger part to it, test anxiety.

When I watched Prince AE’s video last week, "Teacher vs. Student," I got a lump in my throat, it was very emotional for me to watch.  It was as if my daughter had told him her thoughts.  She is that student watching the clock in class, looking for inspiration and creative education. How and where do we as parents get started to make a change? I told my daughter it starts with one voice, and that voice can be hers. By sharing the video, finishing her Gold Project, getting teachers and administrators to think outside the box, outside the classroom hopefully we can make change.

Her project is an outdoor classroom and an adventure club at the high school.  (click here to see her the blog for her project, still in progress) The idea is to get teens outside, off their phones and experiencing the world around them.  Her writing is there that got it all started.

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