Over the course of the last, I don’t know… ETERNITY (gross exaggeration), I’ve applied, interviewed for, and been rejected by a SLOO of secondary teaching opportunities here in the surrounding Pittsburgh area. If I had to guess, I’d say somewhere around 20 rejections… I found humor again after 10. LOL.
And in every stuffy interview they ask the same old, “What are your thoughts on 21st century learning?” BLAH. BLAH. FREAKING, BLAH. Now for my non-teaching friends, let me break this point down for you: 21st century skills holds that there are a number of core competencies that schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world, many of which involve technological capabilities. SNOOZE.
Did I get the job?! No? Didn’t think so… LOL again.
But this post isn’t about the dinosaur that is our failing education system, it’s about how I would like to help contribute to it, even if from the outside.
A lofty goal of mine is to be able to start a student interning program with my small graphic design business. And no, not for the college graduate looking to skate by with an experience that they can use to pretty up their resume and “on to the next one” (I don’t mean that to offend, but come on … we’ve all been there).
Instead, I’d like to take a high-school student, teach them a trade in graphic design and small business ownership, and ACTUALLY GIVE THEM the “21st century skills” that so many schools talk about to make themselves feel like their being productive, but truly never execute.
Think about the benefits: 21st century Joe or Jane would be able to contemplate this field of work BEFORE ever having to declare a major and decide whether it’s something that they truly find passion in. If they love it, great, thank you and you’re welcome. And if they don’t, thank you and you’re STILL welcome because now you can narrow in on a field that you DO love AND you’ve still been provided the technological skills that A. many of your fellow peers lack and B. many of your future employers appreciate. Not to mention, you’ve probably just saved yourself and your family thousands of tuition dollars and a wealth of time. And that just scratches the pros surface…
But this post really isn’t about my personal goals or aspirations with IMRPIMO either.
This post is about the importance and the significance and the TRUE contribution that you can make as a consumer if you shop small and support your local businesses. And I don’t mean just mine … I mean all of them. The more that you focus your dollar on your local guys and on the smaller fish in the pond, the more realistic it is for us to holla’ back, if you will, and better support you as a community in a more direct way. Local is the new black. Learn it, love it, and live by it.