Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kids 'n school

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. As the father of a teen I am facing one of those dreaded choices one has to make with and on behalf of a teen son, in this case; the choice of a (high)school.
I have had some sleepless nights over this. What road to follow and how will that affect my son's future?
And there are a number of factors in play here; what is it he wants? What is it that I want? Will he have a future in the direction he chooses? Etc. etc.
The direction he has chosen, digital design, is something he really is into, so he is highly motivated. It is, however, a field or subject I have no affiliation or interest with or in.... at all. It couldn't be farther from what I advocate and stand for, but it is his choice. Should I, as a father, step in here and point out the potential pitfalls, the way I see it, such as bleak future prospects both in career and practical usability or maybe even downright interfere?
The answer to that would, based on my own experience on the receiving end, be a simple NO. That would kill any and all motivation and I know what the disastrous result of that would be. So I stepped aside and let him make a choice, after laying out the option before him. And he chose to go ahead. Which is good, since he stands fast with what he wants and believes in, even after having been confronted with other options or possible outcomes. And he has chosen a school that turns out to be quite different than the others too. No regular, communal, government controlled school, but as it turned out, a privately owned school with their own principles and guidelines. Principles and guidelines we, as a family, all approve of. He will not be drilled into a brick-in-the-wall kind of position, limited by guidelines and expectations. He ends up on a school that challenges each individual, gives him a lot of opportunities to try out fields of expertise and guarantees the maximum amount of interaction with and guidance by teachers. Quite a young staff they have too.
We attended a few open house events, talked to the staff and the principal, who happens to be from the Netherlands too, and the vibe we got was that this is a school that emphasises on equality, for as far as that is possible, cooperation and stimulation of developing the individual's capabilities.
I was quite impressed with the very broad spectrum of classes and subjects that is offered to the kids, even within certain fields of choice. It somehow feels like a modern, high-tech kind of artschool. If anything, this school has quite a bit of that same feeling about it as the Steiner/Waldorf school had that our kids went to back in the Netherlands, only much more modern and more grown up. That same sort of creative flow and this is my son's kind of creativity.
Both my wife and I wished that we had had these opportunities and possibilities when we were that age. Can't help but wonder how different things would've been.....
And our son is really eager to go there and that is the most important thing of all. And all I can hope is that he will find, what he is looking for. That it'll bring him, what he aims for.....Knowing his life will take him in other directions, when he is ready for that, too.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really great for your son! It sounds like even though he is not going with your back to the earth hands on approach to life he is using your guiding principles which are as sound as they could be and applying them in his own unique way. This is good!