John Jacob Astor, multimillionaire businessman. John Jacob Astor was America’s first multimillionaire. He was also a high school dropout. Woody Allen once said â€œI was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.â€ Woody Allen really was thrown out of NYU after just a single semester for poor grades.
If youâ€™re an educator or thinking about becoming one there is no doubt that you have run into theÂ disruptive, irritating, distracting, wisecracking and sometimes funny class clown. We all have either beenÂ sitting in class with one, have taught one or have been one.
When researching this article I was amazed at the number of famous and infamous people that are onÂ the list of high school and college dropouts. We have all heard the stories; Sylvester Stallone knockingÂ on a thousand agents doors with the Rocky Script under his arm and being rejected a thousand times,Â Bill Gates and Paul Allen dropping out of Harvard to start Microsoft. Tony Robbins living in a 400 squareÂ foot apartment having to wash his dishes in the bath tub. The list goes on and on but what no one tellsÂ you about are the tens of millions of dropouts that have nothing and go nowhere, those that just sufferÂ through life and those that cannot support themselves and their families.
I knew a class clown once. He was bright, funny and wasted all his skills, abilities and talents entertainingÂ his class. This wasnâ€™t a paid gig either. He did it for free. He did it just for fun. There are inspiring storiesÂ of dropouts all over if we look for them. But what we canâ€™t find are the countless stories of those that goÂ nowhere. Those that fill our prisons, exhaust our social services and live lives of poverty and despair.
I want you to understand this article is not pro, nor anti school. It is pro education. We all have differentÂ learning styles. Some of us will excel with traditional formal education and some will not. This is just aÂ fact of life. What this writer wants to convey is that if we pay attention we can uncover our studentâ€™sÂ strengths and then exploit them.
We are fortunate that in our society we have a multitude of educational options available. You ever hearÂ that old story about the car accident at the corner where the Rolls Royce crashed into the Mercedes?Â The plumber broke his leg and the electrician broke his arm. That story is a prime example of educationÂ bringing about wealth and success. Was it traditional college? Nope, but it paid off, perhaps becauseÂ those gentleman were made to excel in plumbing and electric.
If you are an educator or thinking about becoming one it is important that you become expert atÂ recognizing your students learning styles. Maybe your class clown will not be the next Bill Gates; maybeÂ he will just be the next Thomas Edison.