This brilliant girl wants to be a fashion designer and not a medical doctor.
A call for support for students that are willing to follow their passion and not a fancy trend.
Today, I was teaching in one of my classes — grade 11 and it occurred to me to ask them what they all wish to become — their future career choice.
As you’ll expect, about 70% of them mentioned fancy professions such as medicine, engineering, etc., and a few of them are yet to make up their mind. However, a girl stood out, despite the fanciness of the courses her colleagues mentioned, she said she would like to be a fashion designer. I was stunned. I had to ask her again to be sure I heard her correctly and she repeated the same thing.
I was highly elated that someone could be thinking in this direction and I had to ask her where she will study that and she mentioned the university. What an awesomeness.
This girl is one of the brightest in the class, she got an A in my subject last session and usually asks intelligent questions in the class. More than that, she is a good artist, she can draw almost anything. So when she mentioned fashion designing, I tried to connect all her strengths together and it began to make sense. Plus, she was clear without an iota of doubt that that is what she wanted to do.
I’m so happy with this experience because our students are beginning to realize that a professional choice that is connected with their strength and passion is one of the best they can choose for themselves. And I hope to see more of this.
However, something struck me in the midst of this experience. The school.
Imagine for a second that this girl has been exposed to fashion-related basic concepts right from secondary school, what difference will it have made?
Now, I’m her physics teacher, a subject that has very little connection with her dream career. Imagine if she is learning something that connects directly with such a career option from now?
I know some will argue that no knowledge is a waste, yes, you are right but think about this. Imagine that a man is taught how to breastfeed a child. That, too, is knowledge. How relevant is it?
And I’m not saying they should not learn physics, chemistry, biology, etc, all I’m saying is that for a girl like this, subjects like that should be kept at the edge by making them elective or optional while subjects like art, craft, etc should be made core and more important for her. You’ll be astonished by the result.
I, therefore, look forward to a school that will treat our students as human beings full of independent potential and helps them develop it instead of the one size fits all approach that we have now.
Parents must also realize that all professions are equally important so long as the children can attain mastery at them and are happy doing them. The notion of forcing children to study a particular course to fuel our ego as parents must stop.
Let them be.
Physics and Math Teacher, Oman