Today is the day I saw a student start to really learn. She was disengaged overall in school. She didn’t fit into the system. She struggled with learning. I know this because she told me every day. She was worried about what she was going to do after school. Everybody kept telling her to go to college. I know it was not in her family's budget to do so. They were already struggling. The messages she got from the school leaders is that if she didn’t go to college, she would fail. She was not going to go anywhere. She didn’t matter in the system.
I asked her what she wanted to do. She said she was interested in creating an apparel business. As soon as I found that out, I found the door to her success.
I immediately worked with her to start a business and sell her apparel. She looked at me strangely and asked, “really?” Hell yes! I let her know to go for it. I gave her $50. She looked at me in astonishment. She held out her hand and cautiously took the money. I immediately told her I don’t want it back. I just want her to invest it in her learning for starting a new business. And that's where her authentic learning began. She knew right then that she had someone who believed in her.
This is how we disrupt education. Find student centered interests and run with it. Since she started the business, she learned how to fail....and learn from it That has made her stronger. She fears less everyday because she can handle it.