Over the last months I have been volunteering at one of my favourite programs. It is called Junior Achievement and targets students in middle school.
During few sessions I mentored 30 students into the heart of a successful economic life. For instance, we touch base with topics such as choosing the right career, managing money properly, the importance of knowing your skills, interests, values and ultimately develop an higher sense of self-awareness.
At first sight nothing too difficult, right? Well…wrong answer !
My first challenge was the confirmation that human attention span is a second shorter than a goldfish. Believe it or not, it was really hard for me to keep such a tough audience engaged and willing to participate. In a single word, exhausting.
Obviously, this was also a great opportunity to learn about centennials and about myself.
1 – I think that kids don’t have enough interaction and debate in schools, and probably thats the reason why when they have an opportunity, it is like an armageddon!
Conclusion – Unleashing the potential of each young student should be at the very top of all our education programs. Think about it.
2 – If at home no one has time, interest or knowledge to discuss ideas with our youth. And if at school you are mainly supposed to listen and regurgitate whatever you memorise until a final exam. I wonder what is the space available to challenge your beliefs? How can we build an authentic capacity to analyse and give an opinion?
Social media? Online gaming? kids don’t play on the street anymore, so I am afraid I am running out of ideas here.
Conclusion – Schools and teachers have always been important in our society but soon they will become the cornerstone of whatever good we want to build.
3 – I wish I had more time with my students. Those eyes hidden behind a rebellious posture will stay in my mind for a very long time. The noise and unrest was nothing more then a cry for attention.
Conclusion – We all need to do more. Talk, listen and care more and once we have an opportunity to step into the conversation, we can always decide.
Do you want to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud?
Most likely I will never get to know if the seeds planted in those young hearts will flourish and bloom, but deep inside, I made my decision clear.
What about you? Rainbow or Cloud ?
If you would like to know more about the program search for http://www.japortugal.org/
Discover the Walking Mentorship programs here.