1. Jennifer Struebing

    As always, George, I love your message. Your tweet yesterday about the goal of school led to a great discussion between my husband and me. He and I both feel that one of the major goals of school should be health….and that will lead to happiness. Unfortunately, so many teachers lead a life that isn’t as healthful as it should be and schools promote many unhealthy habits. Of course, school is so much more but if we started with health, it would be a great foundation.

  2. Yes yea yes!! As a high school principal, I was astounded by the various paths students took to success. It often didn’t look like a successful path in high school and so often did not match what is traditionally defined as a path to success in high school. It is more important than ever to realize that, and embrace the concept that it takes all kinds of people to make this wonderful world go round! Great post George!

  3. I love this post, George. I’m going to use the same term that I did in a previous post you wrote… “edusnobbery” and elitism have no place in our schools. We have to honor all work and know that everyone deserves dignity in what they do. I used to be that person who wanted MORE for people than “just” a job at McDonalds. I’m glad I grew out of that way of thinking.
    A friend of mine was a server in a restaurant before she owned her own dance studio. She told me she was much happier waiting on tables and meeting people than she ever was owning a business. My grandfather owned his own gas station for years before I was born. When I grew up, his “retirement” job was working as a custodian in an elementary school. He took so much pride in making sure that school was in good shape for the teachers and kids… and they adored him! I remember him telling me how much he loved going to work every day to take care of the kids and their building. If we look at our life’s work as something to build and grow our status in society, we’re making a really poor choice. You know I’ve worked in a lot of different careers, but being in the classroom with kids and watching them grow and learn is the happiest I’ve ever been. THAT is what I want for students… that they find something that brings them joy every day. Thank you for reminding us how important that is.

  4. Such an important reminder, George! Did I ever share with you that I was a McDonald’s girl? I worked my way up from cashier to manager. At the time, it was my only social outlet because my parents were so strict. And there was a time when I had to pull out my pros & cons list because I was offered a position with them as a career. I remember how critical people are (and continue to be) when they hear that.instead of teaching, I considered making McDonalds a career. In the end my decision was based on my desire to teach, but I honestly think that people’s negative perceptions did impact my decision as well. Kels (my youngest) has no idea what she wants to do. I hope that if she leans towards a trade, that I let her be what she wants to be!

  5. Leah Moreau

    This year, our district learning team unveiled their new mission statement, which included a line about allowing students to graduate with a sense of hope and purpose.

    As an Alt Ed VP, that really resonates with me. I want my students to just know that there is SOMETHING out there for them when they graduate. When I see so many of the alternatives, I would be beyond thrilled with any of my students who have a job that they are happy to go to every day.

    Or even a job that doesn’t make them happy, but allows them to support a family that does.

  6. I love this piece because I think it touches on so many important issues. To me when it’s all said and done it’s about finding/creating joy and being happy. Your piece reminds me of a quote from one of my all time favorite poets/artists:

    “There are times I think I’m doing things on principle, but mostly I just do what feels good. But that’s a principle, too.” -Brian Andreas

  7. I love this post, and I am so thankful that you wrote it. Although I have never directly told a student that a certain path is not desirable, I wonder if my actions or responses have ever suggested it. Because it doesn’t matter if I don’t say it if my students perceive that I feel that way. My goal has always been for them to be happy and healthy, so I need to make sure I’m more than intentional about making that clear in everything I do to help them get there.

  8. “Achievement is something you reach or attain, like a goal. Success, in contrast, is a feeling or a state of being.” – Simon Sinek

  9. Kathryn

    I absolutely love this article! As an aspiring Principal I struggle with this argument daily with my current administration and counseling department. I know we would all LOVE for all students to go to college but they are now implementing a mandatory course where students must show college applications and testing scores to be accepted in college. Many students don’t graduate due to this one course, which in my mind is quite ridiculous.
    There are all sorts of workers in our society that our students should feel the encouragement to find their own path and feel successful in it rather than discouraged!
    Nice work!

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