Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Different People, Different Styles & Behavioral Responsibility
(my "little" bro who is now more than 6 inches taller than me)
This post by Seth Godin about "hunters and farmers" and how they differ is really interesting to me. It specifically made me think of my brother, who as a child in school was pretty easily distracted by birds outside the window, paint peeling on the windowsill beside him, noises in the hall, etc etc etc. The private school we went to wanted him tested for ADD and wouldn't take him for the next school year until testing had been done and (presumably) medication dispensed.
But my mother didn't want him labeled like that, so she opted to homeschool him instead. She did all kinds of great lesson plans with him that made his work really hands-on and vibrant. He did a great job. I believe it was in junior high that he went to public school, and he did well right up through graduating. Tried the community college thing, it wasn't really for him. Now he's in the Navy training to be a SEAL.
If my mother had allowed the school to force him into a "farmer" box, he probably wouldn't be doing what he's doing now. And he probably wouldn't be happy, going against his natural proclivities that way. But that "hunter" mentality is just what he needs to make it as a SEAL--lots and lots of observation, the ability to focus intensely for a the period of time that's required to make all the important things happen. . .
It's really made me think about how Sage might be as he grows up. We've already talked about homeschooling for him, but more and more that seems like a good idea, being able to tailor his lessons to his learning style. Also, because his teeth will probably not be quite normal until he's 8 or 9, I don't really want to subject him to any unnecessary teasing.
I really think that all this diagnosis and medication for ADD and ADHD, from what I've seen, is more harm than help. I've subbed in all grades, from kindergarten to high school, and I've had 5-year-olds come up to me and tell me "I'm gonna be out of control today because I didn't take my medication." It's almost like "Well, I have an attention problem, so I don't have to take responsibility for behaving properly and TRYING to pay attention." That really bothers me. What I think this world needs more of is people taking responsibility for what they do and making sure that the things they ARE doing are something to be proud of. Giving people a cop-out is bull.
That post also made me wonder--am I a hunter or a farmer? And I think that I am a little more hunter than farmer, but they are both there. Self-exploration: so fascinating! What about you? Are you a hunter or a farmer?