"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill Timpanaro, Artist, Author, Educator

Monday, April 24, 2017

Are you a school reformer?

Author Laura Hill at Student Rally
Recently, I was asked if I was a school reformer. I have to admit I was taken aback. Reformers are courageous people who fight for change on the front lines, pressing on for the collective good against closed minds and impossible odds. 

I am not a reformer but in my work, as a children’s book author and motivational scholastic speaker, I've had the chance to meet many different kinds of students who are receiving many different kinds of education.  Some are successful, some are floundering and my job is to engage and inspire and at times, nudge things back on the right track.  And since I'm not a teacher, I listen very closely to what they have to say, which is why I'm active with over 3000 educators around the world right now.  This group grew overnight and I know the reason why.

Educators are really concerned with whats happening in schools right now.

As we shift globally from an industrial society to one focused on communication and complex thought we all, parents, educators and students, are discovering new ways to get our ideas into the world. It's exciting and somewhat daunting, especially for those of us in a guidance role because we don't really know what the kids need to learn. What a beautiful moment when you realize we are giving them tools and building skill sets so they can shape a new world-not us.  We get to watch it unfold and our attitudes are instrumental in growing citizens of a global society in which all talents are recognized and allowed to lead when they are called for.  We are already seeing the start of capitalist collapse-it's unsustainable, and I predict I will live to see a shift away from a system based solely on wealth acquisition. 

It's exciting and also puzzling.

As a parent with children in elementary school I have a vested interest in what is going on as the changes made now, the trial and error of new curriculums, learning models and technology, directly effect my children's ability to function in this new world and to grow as thought leaders.  What I see is a struggle between an old regime still rooted in the conquest of assets and rigidity of thought meant to weed out those whose ideas are un-conformed, and those struggling to give voice to more experiential learning processes in which failure is replaced with discovery and rewards are given to all talents, not just those measured by metrics.

As we move forward we are going to need everyone on board to bring their ideas and their hearts to the table.

To really listen to what's being said and to see with eyes wide open, or we are going to miss the chance to point the way to a new opportunity, a landscape in which ideas are valued and creation comes in many forms. A world, I hope, that is more focused on the whole and less on the needs of the few.  We see this theme echoed in literature, The Hunger Games, Divergent; on the screen, in mass media. Industries are scrambling to restructure, old walls are crumbling-should we let new ones be built? Should we welcome new cages that shape our minds and the pattern of our lives to ends that are potentially empty and unsatisfying? Wouldn't it be great right now if we all felt comfortable enough to be who we are, not who we think we should be? 

Think about it and decide how you want to lead the next generation of children-it's your choice.

I am not a reformer,
I am a parent concerned with the direction my children’s education is taking.
I am not a reformer,
I am an author who writes with children and believes that their ideas are good, who wants to help them get those thoughts into the world.
I am not a reformer,
I am a speaker who motivates children to believe in themselves and to move mountains by inspiring others to believe in themselves as well.

I am a storyteller, a dreamer, an artist and a rock star. And I care very deeply that my children, all children, are taught to explore, inspire, to create and to be thought leaders who aren’t afraid to fail in the process.

So I’m not a reformer, most people aren’t. But I believe in what I do, I'm not afraid and I stand behind it, do you?

Join the conversation on Twitter, Th 7PM EDT #whatisschool

Laura Hill is an author and producer known for helping children find their talents and get their ideas into the world.  To find out how you can bring her programs to your school email Laura Hill or tweet @candylandcaper.


Read the books I write with my children.