I want my students to be rule-breakers

It could be the title of a song. But it is not. It is a fact. That’s what I want. I have wanted it always without naming it, and since yesterday, after watching this video where a sophomore student at Georgia Tech USA welcomes freshmen, I can name it: I want my students to be rule-breakers.

Find attached a homemade transcript:

“We chose Georgia Tech because we want to do the impossible.
And this school is equipped with the resources and faculty to help us do just that.
So, in the words of Isaac Newton If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Georgia Tech is proud of its many traditions , but the one I found most exciting is our tradition of excellence. Our mission as students is not to follow in the footsteps of the astronauts, Nobel Prize laureates or the presidents that graduated before us, but to exceed their footsteps, crush the shoulders of the giants upon whom we stand. We here are all such innovative people.
So I am telling you: If you want to change the world, you’re at Georgia Tech! You can do that! If you want to build the “Iron Man” suit, you’re at Georgia Tech! You can do that! And if you want to play theme music during your convocation speech like a badass, we’re at Georgia Tech, we can do that! I am doing that!”
Congratulations on your acceptance and brace yourselves for a hell of a ride on your way to becoming a hell of an engineer.”

Yeah, I saw this video and it gave me much to think about. While I was watching it with envy. I wish we could have tons of this type of students. Envy, yes, tons of envy. Specifically due to two facts: first I was envious of the pride that this student shows towards its university and second, of what the university allows their students to do and to be: rule-breakers.

While living in the U.S, I fell in love with the affection and pride of NorthAmericans for their country, for their institutions and universities … I would love it to be the same in Spain. I want that we, Spaniards, love our country and be proud of our institutions and our flag. Amazing as it sounds, it is so: we Spaniards instead of showing pride in the wonders of our nation, we love to show all the flaws and weakness specially to foreigners.

cena españa2
This happened to me this past month in class: all foreign students were praising things about Madrid:how much they liked the lifestyle of the Spaniards, how beautiful they are our parks and how safe it is to walk through the streets. They were also speakingof the wonders of our public transportation system, and then, an almost embarrassed Spanish student, ashamed of so much praise began to list a string of not so nice things happening in our country… Oh! Shame! For a while I was feeling elated, I was feeling proud of being a Spaniard, and this guy had to say those things.

I would advise Spaniards to spend some time making a list of all the good things that our country does for us and all the good things about our institutions. Then, dedicate some time to talk about those positive things. The outcome? Self-esteem for our homeland will increase, endorphins are triggered, a smile will come to your face … do you dare?
To start the list begin asking a North American what happens when they getill if they don’t have a health insurance. Then ask them how much they receive in unemployment assistance. And to finish the survey dare to ask how much it costs to them to go to their college and how many years must they spend on paying it back.

Spanish students in our schools and universities, plus other evils that beset them, suffer fundamentally from apathy, which serves to disguise laziness, and boredom of life, the ” I-deserve-it-all- and-this-sucks.- Who- is going to-do-something?-Not-me-for-sure”” is a very common illness. Mired in this boredom, they choose careers that are cool but that they do not like , or careers that they like but that they are not willing to put the effort to go through that “hell of a journey ” to get what they want … because they don’t know what they want.

The bus I take to the office every day is full of college students. Listening to their talk,it is easy to draw a map of the current situation. “I’ve changed my career and even yet I am not sure if I like this better”, “John is a freshmen in engineering, but he thought it was like in school, that you could study just before the exams .He has completely failed his first semester. Now he doesn’t know what to do” ” I’m going to Erasmus next year, but I don’t speak English so I will fail and then I will have to repeat the semester back in here”, ” There is a teacher determined to make us work in class and that work does not even account for the grade! “, “A teacher want us to do an unpaid internship … no one has pointed it out”. Should I continue or have you already got an idea of what is happening to our students?.

I want a student like the one in the video! I want students that oncoming to class, make use of me so as to learn as much as possible because they are interestedand don’t just ask for the highest mark for not too much effort. I want a student to say to me: “Everything that you have already explained is in the book, but when are you going to teach us something else?”, I want a student to challenge me , to disagree, to discuss. I want a student to bring me a newspaper article with the opposite opinion of what I have maintained in class. I want a student who moves on his seat not because of boredom but because he is not convinced of what I say but has no reply today …, but brings me an answer the next day. I want students to be rule-breakers not with the schedule, arriving late to class nor rule-breakers with education, but with the content of the class. Why can I not have them!

I want rule-breaker students because only rule-breakers make the progress of humanity happen, using new paths which have never been taken before.

What separates us from this? What prevents us from having these students?

The fault is ours, educators, parents and schools.

padres regañando
     Parents are guilty, because they carry the backpacks of their children to school; because they fly like helicopters over them controlling every movement; because they give them money and unlimited comfort and finally because they apologize to the teachers and adults for their children faults not leaving them to assume their own responsibility for their free acts.

todos igualesjpg
    Schools are guilty because don’t light fires, but fill vessels. Fill vessels with things and with forms that are obsolete, because they kill inspiration and creativity.

The solution to these problems? Next week.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *