Thursday, June 17, 2010

Should We Be Teaching Kids to be Entrepeneurs?

I have something to admit.  It's huge.

I have a massive crush on TED.  I really do.

So when I watched this video I knew I'd probably love it, and I wasn't wrong at all.  Ideas worth spreading?  You betcha. 

Please watch the video first.

What do you think?  Were you a child-entrepeneur like Cameron Herold? 

I definitely was. I used to sell my artwork to my next door neighbours until my mom found out and told me that they would think we were poor and that as lovely as my "art" was, it really wasn't appropriate to peddle it door to door. 

I then sold lilacs that my friend Amy & I cut from a tree we found in a nearby forest.  We wrapped the flowers in pretty paper & sold it to business men on their way home from work.  Best job ever!  The "ooooh's" and "aaaahhhh's" from the men picking their flowers was just music to my little ears.

I've always had a knack for seeing ways to do things a bit differently, and certainly my job with Classroom Canada is no different.  I never really knew that I was being an entrepeneur.  I just thought that it meant that I "danced to the beat of a different drummer" as my mom is fond of saying.  It's true, I do.  I see nothing wrong with that. 

But now that I've seen this video, I have to admit - I think I agree with Cameron.  Why don't we teach these skills in school?  We focus on math, science & literacy - which are all very important skills, but they tie into entrepeneurship as well.  So why not make that link?

My niece, Sophie, is seven and I'm learning a lot about the world from her eyes.  Lately, I've noticed how much she thinks that being rich means being greedy.  Success = evil.  When I question why she thinks this, she relates her thinking back to movies and how the bad guys are usually rich & greedy and she never wants to be like that. It breaks my heart to hear her think this way.  Can't we raise our children to feel positively about money and success and that in actual fact, earning money doing something you absolutely love (which is exactly what entrepeneurs do after all) is a very good thing?  Where is the logic in teaching children that being wealthy is bad?  I don't blame educators for this, nor do I blame the media, but I think as a general rule we all need to start to question what messages we're sending our kids about money, success, entrepeneurial work and the like. 

Okay that's my rant for today.  None of this has anything to do with teaching in London, England but I just had to tell you what I was thinking about this issue. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.  Please share your thoughts below.  I'm sitting by the computer waiting for the discussion to blossom.

Resources for Teaching in London

Classroom Canada website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians ebook
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