Back to school – a restart, or a nightmare?

Back to school – a restart, or a nightmare?

My daughter is admittedly not fond of school. The whole idea of being told what to do, what to think and what to say for six hours a day makes her dread each morning she wakes up.

She loves the freedom of the summer. The ability to choose her own path, and to explore her own interests in her own time (don’t we all?).

As a result, going back to school presents a unique dilemma for her – and I suspect – many of the children that have returned this week.

On one hand, she is excited to reconnect with the friends that she lost touch with during the summer, and eager to reengage with the social structure she left back in June.

On the other hand, she is equally sad about having to return to a system that has bored her to tears  (quite literally) over the last seven years.

I have tried to explain to her the value of the process. And I have tried to get her pumped about the possibilities, the activities and the extra-curriculars. But she doesn’t buy any of it.

While she is a good student, there is nothing in the process that piques her interest, that incents her to explore, or that appeals to her sense of creativity and invention.

I watched the emotional roller-coaster unfold this last week and I thought to myself……how many companies have the same problems with the adults that they employ (I know – bad Dad moment, right?)?

Do those talented employees face the same issues each morning as they prepare for work? Are they struggling to find the joy, the possibilities and the opportunity to explore their own skills and creativity within their work environment?

Systems built to mandate normalcy and consistency also hinder the creative process and tend to reduce an individual’s desire to “do more”. But those systems seem to be ingrained in us – even as Junior High students.

Kudos to those companies that had the vision, and the guts, to create environments that eliminated the systemic process, and that encouraged their employees to explore their own capabilities.

And much gratitude to those teachers that struggle within this educational system, to provide those same opportunities to our children. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.