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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: As a teacher I suffer from this ongoing horror that there is some student wandering around repreating some fairly off hand remark I made that had a negative impact on their life. Truth is one negative comment can reallly hurt a child, but it can also really motivate them. It can give them the chance to question their perception against that of an authority figure and determine if they will accept it.

    This teacher may have been callous with you. But, so many of us are so weak in math that many teachers struggling to teach it it may simply have been a moment of frustration. I dearly love creative folk and do what I can to support them. But, gosh if you're gonna make 100 purses you need to be able to figure out how much material you need and what your costs will be....

    He would have been better off encouraging you and then showing you some example like that for why you need to learn his subject matter.

    I struggle with this because I feel the burden of being a teacher accutely. I also was ecently told by a student that he did not need to learn anything because if there was anything he ever needed to know he could just google it. The ability to understand that google was not a force of nature seemed lost on him. The need for technical knowledge to keep it alive or improve on it seemed lost.

    I am also guilty of grading mid terms right now which often depresses me, sorry.
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      Mar 15 2012: I agree with you we need maths in life and I'm not complaining about it, in fact, I am really god at maths. I just didn't feel the need to totally cut out my subject and focus ONLY on maths and the other academic subjects.

      Good luck with the papers and thank you for your comment :-)

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