What are you going to be when you grow up? This question is asked of our children and teenagers. While there are a few people that know early on what they want to be, most of us feel desperate to figure it. Many adults are still trying to answer this question themselves.
I pose that this question, rather the subconscious intent behind the question is a problem. Why, you ask. This question merely is asking about the end goal. The end goal is not what we should be focused on.
In Education, grade school all the way to college, the focus is put on the destination rather than the more important process of learning. Our focus as parents is on finishing high school/college and getting good grades. It is not on learning. Our hyper focus on the end goal of graduating is pushing many to doing whatever it takes.Check out the statistics on cheating in high school and colleges. These numbers are probably low compared to actual cheating. https://oedb.org/ilibrarian/8-astonishing-stats-on-academic-cheating/
Unfortunately, this is not going to end anytime soon. Our school are putting more and more pressure on students to get good grades. This is starting to be seen in middle and elementary schools as well. Students are realizing that their grades in elementary and middle school are determining their classes and placement in the hierarchy of schooling. If you don't make good grades, you can't be in the better classes. For example, I just spoke to a 9th grader about courses. She is waiting until her senior year(after class ranks) to take basic electives so the classes will not count against her class ranking. These electives include classes like speech. I would suspect that most of us believe Speech is a pretty important skill that students need. Why would she do this? Speech is a class that doesn't offer advance/AP credit so the you can't get a high enough GPA to help with ranking. This is the Education today. It's not about what skills or knowledge a student possesses, it about the grades.
So, back to the question posed at the beginning of this article. What do you want to be when you grow up?
The focus should be on self awareness and skills that will help that person become successful. What are these skills? As we pointed out before, one of them is Public Speaking. What other subjects do you think we should be teaching our students rather than focusing on grades?
It is up to us to break this cycle.