What it is: Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors and bloggers to read. He so often has insight that cuts right to the heart of a matter. What I appreciate about Seth’s writing most, is the way he can say things in a way that people can hear and accept. Seth has a brand new digital “book” (manifesto) called Stop Stealing Dreams. I love the dedication that he begins with: “Dedicated to every teacher who cares enough to change the system and to every student brave enough to stand up and speak up.” The “stand up” stands out to me because that is what we aim to do every single day at Anastasis. In fact, we chose the name Anastasis because it translates to “stand again” or “resurrection” from Greek. That is exactly what we aim to do every single day…help kids stand again in their learning. Now you know where our Twitter hashtag comes from.
Seth poignantly points out that “Instead of amplifying dreams, school destroys them.” That is a hard statement for those of us in education. We sign up for this crazy ride to help dreams flourish and yet because of the system of education, end up doing precisely the opposite. It is hidden. We don’t set out to do this…truly we don’t. But consider the way that we push kids through education and tell them what the most important things are for them. Students get the message loud and clear: check these boxes, take these classes, pass these tests. Do it so you can get into high school. Do it so that you can go to college. Do it so that you can get a job. What message are we really sending? “You and your dreams are not enough.”
I don’t want to give too much of the manifesto away because I think that it is worth reading for every teacher, administrator and parent. Seth offers this download for free. The guy knows how to spread ideas! The point of the manifesto is not to leave you feeling hopeless over the current situation of education, but asking questions and encouraging us to say “why not?” Print the book out, read it on a digital device, and share it…share it widely! The first step to a revolution is spreading the idea and opening door to the possibility.
How to integrate Stop Stealing Dreams into the classroom:
Read Stop Stealing Dreams
. Highlight it, earmark pages, write in the margins, challenge yourself. Then share it with everyone you know. I find that it is easy to find teachers who are ready to hear this message and act on it. It’s been my experience that parents are a little harder to convince. We are all “experts” on education because we have all been through it. We have all of these assumptions that we know exactly what it should look like and even assume that the classroom model has been perfected. This manifesto helps challenge those assumptions and come up with new ideas apart from the assumptions.
had our Jr. High students download Stop Stealing Dreams
today. Students have assumptions about education too. I’m excited to hear the kids reflections on the manifesto. They will have a completely different view, different questions, and come up with their own fantastic ideas about how education can stop stealing dreams. I would be interested in having the kids come up with a manifesto of their own!
When you are finished reading Stop Stealing Dreams
, I highly recommend the next books on your reading list be those mentioned in the manifesto. If you haven’t read them, they are a must!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Stop Stealing Dreams in your classroom!