Early in the year in Sydney, a woman with a troubled look on her face approached me after my keynote. “I have to tell you what my son told me this morning on his way out the door,” she said. “He said ‘Off I go to my six-hour interruption to my learning.'”
This summer when I asked a group of students at a respected international school what school would be like if they didn’t have grades, one girl looked at me and said, “Well, if we didn’t have marks, no one would learn anything.”
And late in the year, during a full day workshop with teachers and students, a young man came up to me at a break and said, “You’re right about school not being about learning. I wish it was more like the Internet.”
Certainly, not every conversation that I had with students went like these. But, honestly? The vast majority did. In fact that’s close to the top of my list of takeaways from my travels this year. We’re continuing to lose a slew of kids when it comes to the learning that matters to them and the passions and curiosities that drive that.
I wonder if my conversations with kids next year will be any different.
No doubt, that’s up to us.