In school, I charted how long each teacher would tolerate my absence, took note of which hallways were unusually good for hiding, and, being rather nerdy-looking, developed a convincing aura to project “I am hard at work. Yes, I’m supposed to be here. No, you shouldn’t interrupt me” for the benefit of passing staff and guards.
I likely spent more energy weaseling around the rules than I did on any coursework, and was a student who should have loved school, but never had the chance. Today, without irony, I’ve worked for years to put myself back in the schoolhouse.
I was supposed to share the story of a teacher by whom I was inspired. Part of starting a company and developing a brand is that you get to choose what you want to represent. Kiddom is inspired by teachers. However, while my colleagues reminisce with iconic tales, I, at 27, and after encouraging our team to all share their own, embarrassingly lack any personal “heroic teacher” story with which to play my part. I was not saved by my teachers, and I’m not at Kiddom because teachers do holy work and deserve our support. I hated school; which is a shame because I loved learning. Absolutely loved it.
So, who inspires me?
Students who graduate, then circle back to change the system by providing support they wished would have been there for themselves.
Students who get inspired by their teachers. Who graduate, and maybe become teachers themselves. Who never stop learning, then ignore what they’re taught, listen to their own students, and create space for those students to learn (and to learn more than just academics).
I’m inspired by those who see the convoluted, impossible-to-fix mess of mixed interests and social factors that is public education, and never miss a beat because there’s no time like the present.
I’m inspired by any who take personal risks to help those who’ve been entrusted to them, those who need our help, and by those who see those taking risks, and step up to create the support they in turn need.
I don’t know where I fit in all this. I’m essentially the tech bro out of touch and here to help. But if school’s taught me anything, it’s how to ignore what I’m told and keep doing what I know is right.
Guset Post By: Jordan Feldstein
Growth @ Kiddom