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Sarah Begum

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Teachers vs Young, Creative Minds and Balancing the Curriculum

When I was 11 years old, I would make hairbands, scrunchies and purses out of different fabrics and then sell them at school for 20 pence. I was always a creative kid. I would watch "Art Attack" then save cereal boxes and recycle them by making stationary boxes etc. I knew I wanted to do something creative when I was older but wasn't sure what exactly...

I went to school with my latest fashion design - a purse I made from violet fur and stitched a pattern on it. I was so proud of it! All the girls at school liked it and I wanted to show my teacher what I could do. So I took out the purse out from my bag and said, "Sir, look what I made! Do you like it?"

The teacher replied, "You know Sarah, this won't get you anywhere in life. You need to focus on improving your learning at school and being better at maths and science. Ok?"

I was so disheartened as his words tore out a little girl's dream.

As I grew older, I discovered that you didn't need to be the best at maths and science to survive in this world and that a creative entrpreneurs are making small ideas into huge profitable realities.
At 16 years old, I became the youngest fashion designer and model for a fashion company my brother got me involved with and from there, I had a few more fashion shows to showcase my designs - this time garments.

I would think back to what that teacher told me once upon a time and smile that I made it further than his words could ever discourage me to do so.

Has anyone ever had similar experiences with their school teachers? And how did you make it in the real world?

Maybe the curriculum needs a lesson for children to spend a whole hour making plans to achieve their dreams?

I think it is so important for primary school teachers to be both creative as well as academic otherwise there is an unbalance in the learning system and this could effect how a child is programmed to think and grow up.

How many schools in the world actually have this balance in the curriculum?


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    Mar 14 2012: The term "primary school" may mean something different in the UK than in the United States. In the US, "primary school" would cover children from about age 5 until age 10 or maybe 11. I would guess only on the basis of my experience rather than citable research that primary school teachers in the US are as interested, certainly, in students' creativity and self expression as they are in what I think you mean by academic learning and, in fact, are frustrated that standardized tests pick up mainly the latter. I think any teacher who looked at something like your purse and said to you what he did would be considered out of line by his peers and the school administration.The need to prioritize creative, adaptive minds and dispositions is widely, widely accepted as a high or the highest priority among educators.What differs among educators is how to get there. Most educators would argue, I think, that students should be encouraged to become literate and to be able to think in a range of subjects rather than to specialize very young in any one. To shut out math, for example, or to shut out writing, as some cihldren might be inclined to do without guidance, doesn't seem a good strategy in terms of her fexibility in the future to choose from many interesting experiences and directions. It is a huge priority among primary school teachers to get children to give the various subjects all a good chance just as parents and family doctors want children as much as possible to eat a balanced diet and to spend their days in a miixture of activities, both mental and physical.
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      Mar 15 2012: Thank you :-) Of course you make sense of the past to me now and by the way, I'm really good at maths now ;-)

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