Educate for success, or the success of educating

Educate to be the best person possible, with the highest values, whatever you do and wherever you go

The first, in the front. The title of this article includes the verb EDUCATE twice, therefore, I am going to refer to the specific work of parents.

If I were going to talk about teachers, I would talk about teaching.

If I were going to talk about schools, I would talk about schooling.

I say this to avoid wrong expectations regarding the substance of the matter.

I consider that EDUCATION is collaborating in the construction of a person. Likewise, I have not found a better definition than that of José Ramón Ayllón: “a complex action that is exercised on the human being to help him precisely to be human.” It is an end in itself. However, from time to time I meet parents who set a specific goal for their work as educators.

They consider that EDUCATION has in their case, in their family, the priority objective of ensuring that their child achieves success in the future.

This is the prototype (I’ll be honest, I corrected myself). This is the stereotype of parents whose goal is to educate for success:

When their children are babies, they programmatically use videos like “Baby Einstein” and “Baby Mozart.”

They are looking for a kindergarten where children do a lot of worksheets and are introduced to pre-reading, pre-writing and, of course, English.

In the early childhood education stage – from 3 to 6 years old, a NON-mandatory stage – they require the teachers that their child “finish reading” and if they do not succeed, they tear their clothes (theirs and the teacher’s).

At the primary school stage, they are enrolled in several extracurricular activities – and they will put a huge burden on English and another language (the third language – German or Chinese – is essential “to differentiate themselves from the rest”).

If they are enrolled in a sport, they will place great importance on “striving to be the best” rather than “making sure they have fun.”

In secondary education, they will ensure that you spend at least one term abroad, to “master English” – Side note: I consider that sending your children a term or a school year away from home is one of the best options that we parents can do. It helps children a lot to “build themselves as people”, if they also learn or reinforce a language, great, but I consider it absolutely secondary. In this sense, it would be enough for them to spend a term (or a course) in Castillo de Garcimuñoz – or any other town or city in the Spanish or Latin American geography that they fancy – attending a school very different from their own and with a family that brings a vision different from ours – within shared values.

Of course, for these parents it is very important to obtain “First”, “Pet”, “Flyers”, “Cambridge”, “Advance” language qualifications and I don’t know what other qualifications. “It’s important for your resume,” they argue to the 13-year-old boy. It may be because I have never had one of those diplomas, but it seems to me that if I want to hire a person who speaks English, instead of checking if he passed a standardized test when he was going to school, there is nothing like doing the interview in English and ask him to write me a letter of complaint on the spot for the poor service received.

And in high school, when university is close, they break out in cold sweats, just thinking about their son telling them the nonsense that he wants to study “History.” Of course, few faces such a dilemma, since the education system in Spain is designed to prevent such an “aberration.” The few exceptions that exist are system errors.

There is nothing wrong with wanting, seeking and promoting the (work) success of our children. I doubt there are parents who don’t do it. The problem lies in when success is the first and last goal of education.

And isn’t this type of education – focused on success – compatible with education centered on the person, the family and others? Of course, it is supported! In theory, it is. In practice, I have never seen it.

How could we know what our children will need in 8, 12 or 15 years, when they finish school or university? In a world as changing and dynamic as the current one, it is enormously difficult to predict – as Sir Ken Robinson said.

Entire generations of boys have grown up with the sole idea that we must strive “to become useful men,” while girls were sent to school to “have a training that allows you not to depend on anyone.”

We are seeing the consequences of these slogans.

Educate to be the best person possible, with the highest values, whatever you do and wherever you go. Build honest, faithful people, that anyone “can depend on you.” Build whole people. That is what I consider the success of educating.