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How can I, as a teenager, get started in what I have recently found to love?

I am very passionate about education and helping others excel. After watching several talks on liberal education, creativity in school, and the creation of an amazing tutoring program, I decided that I want to develop a school unlike any other.

As a middle-schooler, I attended The Galloway School in Atlanta, GA. It was extremely centered around liberal education with one-on-one help, student-teacher relationships, community, and the drive to learn. I, not only am only a sophomore, but tend to lose my "drive" quickly; how can I keep going with my goal?

I love the idea of liberal education, but have no idea where to start or what to do to help the education problem in America and slums all across the world? Any ideas on what to keep up my goal?

If you have any education experience it would also help.

  • Dec 21 2012: I think you should learn from and make friends with someone who has the same passion with you. And ask other people who already succeeded in their careers
  • Dec 18 2012: Hi.
    Since you don't know where to begin then start with writing it down.
    It will be at least two things: 1. frustrating and a struggle and 2. very rewarding as you begin to understand your idea yourself.
    If you find yourself frustrated, wanting to quit, then you know you won't get there if you do quit.
    If it isn't right, then that is the reason you keep going. You only stop when you know it is right.

    Outline, write in essay form, use pictures, visuals, or anything that will help YOU clearly see what it is you want to do.
    That might change and most certainly will.

    I write screenplays. I have to get my log line (what is your story about?) down to one short sentence that CLEARLY tells it all. I do a lot of writing but it only helps me to begin to see what I really mean,want or desire more clearly, TO ME! Not to anyone else. After all, I am the one developing it. (But at sometime, others will have to understand it too)

    Talk to people who will listen and give you feedback but (my opinion here),don't usually listen to those who tell you it cannot be done. You know it can and you want to do it!
    When you talk (explain it) to others, you not only see how well you know it, but you learn it better each time and how clear it is and you get feedback and sometimes good suggestions and direction, maybe to someone else who can help you further.

    Which reminds me. Mentally tell yourself that you are going to do this even though you may not know where the entrance to the path is. One day, soon, you will just find that you are on the path, meaning on your way. If you don't stop walking, you will get there.

    I don't know what makes you lose your drive, hence, why I said, don't stop because it is no good, or you can't figure it out or you cannot find a solution, or it isn't clear, or so on. Keep going because of those things.

    When you lose sight of your goal, never lose sight of the fact that losing sight of your goal is not a reason to stop.
    Keep going. One day you'll see the end
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    Dec 19 2012: I wouldn't worry if you do lose your drive. People are allowed to change their interests, what excites them. Actually, the world would be quite boring if we all had to stick to what we were interested in, say, five years ago.

    You assert there is an education problem in America and slums all across the world. Others might disagree that there is a problem. What is the problem you assert exists? Identifying the problem you believe exists will probably help you decide what to do about it.
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    Dec 19 2012: Just do it...
  • Dec 18 2012: Love all the good advice. Any idea of what I should be focused on or try to major in college?
    • Dec 18 2012: It is easy to say education, but might be better to talk to student and professors prior to your decisions. Consider other areas that hold your interest. As a rule, challenge yourself with classes that make you better in all the basics for the first two years. Communications, science, math, computers, entrepreneurial business, etc. You might talk to a counselor with your ideas and see if you can custom fit a program for you. Some schools embrace this type of learning.
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      Dec 19 2012: I think your years of high school and first year of college will lead you to the subjects that most interest you.

      An educator should have a broad education, and a secondary school educator in addition needs also to have a content area specialty, like a science, language, history...
  • Dec 18 2012: I like your Middle School. I also like your idea and passion. Here is what I would do:

    1. Find ways to work with the existing education system by supplementing it with your ideas and concepts. Working with the existing system will allow the people providing it to help you, give you real world ideas, connect you with resources,and act as advocate for you in administrative challenges. It may also help them see how your ideas are the future and perhaps understand their place in this system.

    2. Learn about similar efforts and systems. There are many. Educate yourself on what has worked in the past. Adapt successful techniques to your ideas and methods.

    3. Make it fun. If you make your students want to learn and participate, then they provide the energy for success, your program just channels it, rewards it, guides it, and inspires it.

    4. Get parents and grandparents involved if possible. They have a lot of good ideas and the best understanding of the child.

    5. There are Federal and Private funding opportunities for well planned efforts such as you describe. Funding is always an issue. As Random Chance points out, you need to effectively communicate your idea to these people in order to gain their support. Your energy should come through. Perhaps you can talk to existing educators to get ideas for the most effective methods, venues, and responsive patrons.

    6. Losing your drive is a tough question. Having three or four on-going related efforts (like content, methods, fund raising, learning, and communicating ideas) that you can't switch to when you feel your energy drop for the one you are working on that day. Even when there are five elephants, you still have to eat them one bite at a time!

    7. Make it so your leaders have fun. Notice special efforts. Find a way to compliment people when possible. It is really amazing the dividends a leader reaps when his work force is happy. Money is not the only motivator, but it does work.

    You are the future. Good Luck!
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    Dec 18 2012: Yours is a highly attainable goal. For now, you need to get a good education and keep your eyes open as to what you think works well, or not, in the educational settings in which you find yourself. You might keep a journal or a treasure box into which you toss ideas. Tutoring students who struggle with their learning, probably more usefully public school students, is a good step as well to let you start making a contribution even now and to broaden your views of what might be needed.

    There is a lot of great material to read also about how kids learn. You don't need to read it all now, but there is no harm in getting started.

    You might also look at the website for Teach for America, a really popular pathway for students right out of college to jump into the classroom and make a difference, regardless of the professional pathway they ultimately intend to take.