If your student is having a hard time fitting into the school system, and feels like a “fish out of water”, take 6 minutes to listen to this great spoken word poem. One of my clients played it for me the other day, and it really made an impression. I often work with teens who are having trouble succeeding in school, and I thought I understood how they feel, but this took it to a whole other level. See what you think!
Here are the lyrics
I Just Sued the School System, by Prince Ea
[Lyrics from: https:/lyrics.az/prince-ea/-/i-just-sued-the-school-system.html]
Albert Einstein once said everyone’s a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury today on trial we have modern day schooling
Glad you could come not only does he make fish climb trees he also makes them climb down and make them do a 10 mile run
Tell me school are you proud of the things you’ve done turning millions of people into robots. Do you find that fun do you realize how many children relate to that fish swimming up stream in class believing they are useless
Well the time has come no more excuses I call school the to the stand and accuse him of killing creativity, individuality and being inequality abusive he’s ancient institution has outlived his usage
So your honor this concludes my open statement and if I may present the opening of my case I will prove it
Exhibit A here’s a modern day phone recognize it?
Now here’s a phone from 150 years ago
Big difference right?
Stay with me all right
Here’s a car today and here’s a car from 150 years ago
Big difference right?
Well get this here’s a classroom of today and here’s a classroom we used 150 years ago
Now isn’t that a shame in literary a century nothing has changed and yet you claim to prepare students for the future
But with evidence like that I must ask do you prepare students for the future or the past?
I did a background check on you and the record show that you were made to trade people to work in factories which explains why you put students in straight rows nice and neat raise your hand if you want to speak give them a short break to eat and for eight hours a day tell them what to think
Oh and make the compete to get an A a letter that determines a product quality hint grade A of meat
I get it back then times where difference we all have a past I myself am no Ghandi. But today we don’t need to make robot zombies the world had progressed and now we need people who think creativity, innovatively, critically, interdependently with the ability to connect
You see every scientist will tell you no two brains are the same. And every parents with two or more children will confirm that claim so please explain why you treat students like cookie cutter frames or snap back caps given the one size fits all crap
Watch you language!
Sorry your honor
But if a doctor prescribes the exact same medicine to all of his patients the results would be tragic so many people would get sick
Yet when it comes to school this is exactly what happens. This educational malpractice where one teacher stands in front of 20 children each one having different strengths different needs different gifts different dreams and you teach the same thing the same way. that’s horrific lady gentlemen the defendant the gentlemen should not be acquitted
This may be one of the worst criminal offenses ever to be committed. And let’s mention the way you treat your employees
Overruled I want to hear this!
It’s a shame I mean teachers have the most important job on the planet yet they are underpaid no wonder why so many students are shortchanged. Let’s be honest teachers should earn just as much as doctors because a doctor can do heart surgery and save the life of a child. But a great teacher can reach the heart of that child and allow him to truly live
You see teachers are heroes that often get blamed. But they aren’t the problem they work in a system with not many options or rights curriculum’s are created by policy makers where most of them haven’t taught a day in their life . Just obsessed with standardized tests they think bubbling in a multiple choice question will determine success
That’s how outlandish in fact these test are to cruel to be used and should be abandoned. But don’t take my word for it. take Fredrick J Keely and man who invented standardized testing who said and I quote “These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned” Ladies and gentlemen of the jury if we continue down this road the results will be literal
I don’t have much faith in in school but I do have faith in people. and if we can customize health care, cars and Facebook pages then it is our duty to do the same for education to upgrade change and do way with school spirit. Because that’s uses unless we are working to bring the spirit out of each and every student that should be our task. No more common core instead let’s reach the core of every heart in every class
Sure math is important but no more than art or dance let’s give every gift an equal chance I know this sounds like a dream but countries like Finland are doing impressive things they have shorter days, teachers make a decent wage homework is non existent they focus on collaboration instead of competition. But here’s the kicker boys and girls there educational outperforms every other country in the world. Other places like Singapore are succeeding rapidly schools like Montessori programs like Khan Academy there is no single solution
But let’s get moving because while students maybe 20% of our population
They are 100% of our future so let’s attend to their dreams and there’s no telling what we can achieve this is a world in which I believe a world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees
I rest my case