Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dream School


Every child should go to a school that sees them. They should all be treated with respect and dignity.

100% of children deserve a second chance. They also deserve to be held accountable and to be taught what it means to be responsible for their actions. They deserve to know what it means to fail, just as much as they deserve to know what it feels like to succeed, for it is only from the bitterness of the former that we taste the sweetness of the latter.

School should matter, and all of the people in it should make a difference in the lives of students, including the students themselves.

This model of care and commitment and accountability and respect can and should scale up to include every kid in our country, not just the ones who can afford Montessori or Reggio Emilia or a progressive private school.

Dream School is not 100% successful. The process is hard and filled with conflict. All of the kids in the school have been discarded by the education system, some by their families. No one expects anything of them, including the kids themselves.

Is it easier to hand them a worksheet? Of course. But see where that has gotten them.

If you haven't watched Dream School, take a look. Comment below. What would you change in school? How will you make a difference? 

"Everyone's a dreamer. Who doesn't want something great for themselves?"


  1. I could only watch the the intro and start of that show. All I kept thinking is - oh my god, we've turned educating the worst of the worst into a lottery some get to win and then made it a reality show. It made me sick to my stomach.

    I can't wait for the first season of "Dream Job"; Where convicted felons are selected by a team of celebrities and "specialists" and trained to become highly successful, well paid executives.

    And yes, I know I just compared felons to bad kids in school. It's not a fair comparison though, I'd guess the stories of bad parenting, poor families, and broken homes are similar.

    But I keep thinking - what about the kids who are in those classrooms with those assholes and still find a way to succeed? Why don't they get a show?

    I feel like we often find ways to celebrate the worst and the best and forget about the kids and people who are flying under the radar making it work. But, there is always Mike Rowe. At least he seems to celebrate the vast middle. Love that guy.

  2. So yes, you did compare bad kids to felons, and yes, that is offensive. But I get your point entirely.

    My point in posting this, and I think I said so above, is that ALL kids deserve a dream school. The good, the bad, and those who are victims of their birth. Currently, our system, in the best case, only adequately teaches those who have good support systems at home.

    Asking why the kids who succeed in school don't get their own reality show is a little like asking why we don't have white history month.

  3. Oh I think the white history thing is a bit off. I don't mean "gee why don't upper middle class successful kids get their own show?". I'm talking specifically about the other kids sharing these same classrooms with these failing students. I agree, all failing students should get the attention they need. The kids who struggle with the same circumstances and then deal with all these disruptions and STILL succeed without a show, they deserve a medal

  4. Agreed, but there are probably not enough of those kids you describe to have a show. The chances of overcoming the conditions and challenges in front of these kids are pretty slim.