When failure comes early in life, many never recover. I saw the impact failure had on a fifth grader in a local public school. He was paired with me in a man on boy mentoring program.
This young boy lived with his mother and high school senior sister. No adult male was a part of his life. It took several weeks of weekly sessions before he really opened up to me. When he did, this is what I heard. His comments are condensed below.
“I want to become an architect and play basketball at Duke University. But there is a problem. They are going to promote me to sixth grade and I cannot read.” There was no problem with his aspirations (well maybe the part about playing varsity basketball at Duke). I was sickened to hear this fine youngster make those comments. In a few days the school year ended and I never saw or heard of him again. Did he ever get the attention he knew he needed and had been asking for?
I serve on the board of our local community college and head the curriculum committee there. We often have to direct a percentage of incoming students through remedial reading and mathematics classes if they are to enjoy success in our two year programs.
Where are our schools failing? Where are parents failing? Oh well, just give the kids a smart phone – it has all the answers.