With all the hype and excitement on the new super charged America coming soon, due to the election of the new President-elect, tech savvy Barack Obama, I thought it was a good time to share a little experience I had this week.
I had the opportunity to go speak at a local grade school and explain to the 4th and 5th graders how at this stage (age) in my life, I’m still using my basic grade school fundamentals, reading , writing and arithmetic to operate my online candy store.
I walked in armed and ready for this group of 9 and 10 year olds. I had gummi burgers in one hand, lollipops in the other and chocolates under my coat. They were ready for me as well with their Apple wireless laptops waiting for me to tell them they could boot them up. Oh let me add, every single one of these grade school students knew how to operate and maneuver around with them.
I began with how important spelling and reading is and without them I wouldn’t be able to communicate to my customers nor would they be able to communicate to the world or play or shop online. Then I touched on the old basic Math skills, add, subtract and divide and how I use them everyday to price my items so I make some money. I stressed they need math skills because they have to make sure they have enough money to buy things like my candy. When I got to the old geography lesson and how it’s important for me to know about each state’s history, including their weather and time zone difference… I could hear and see I was loosing them.
They were more interested in exploring my silly fun website with boatloads of their favorite candy staring at them. Matter a fact one young girl spoke out and asked me if I had games to play on my website. Ugh…
So, I had to put on my teachers hat, raise my voice a tad and flat out say, “if you don’t pay attention, you won’t get any of the candy I brought”, Poof… it worked like a charm! Dead silent, eyes front and center and the hands began to raise. Ahh was nice to know the good old bribe still works!
All the sudden every student had a ton of questions and suggestions for me. It was almost like they felt the more they asked and listened, the more candy they would get. The candy I brought was brought with a lesson in mind, not just enjoyment. I brought dum dum lollipops and told them they needed to pay attention in school so they wouldn’t be a dum dum and maybe someday they could have their very own website. I brought along my favorite candy the marshmallow ice cream cone and explained to them when I was in 4th grade, they were my favorites. Then I jumped up to their era and showed them the mini gummi burgers that are the big thing now to them. I took it a step further and really sealed the deal by bringing chocolate Hershey’s Kisses for the teachers, because I knew the teachers loved chocolate. The kids got a real chuckle out of that.
It was a really fun afternoon for me, even though I sorta had to bribe them. Driving back to my office it made me think about something I read awhile ago. It seems a lot of school districts have now banned candy as a reward for their students. Teachers in a lot of areas are not allowed to reward with candy. I feel these administrator’s that came up with this lame idea have never seen in action the attention kids can give, all for a sweet treat! Maybe if we brought back the old fashion ways of teaching even if it includes a sweet reward, we’d see a lot more class room participation and many more Steve Jobs types and not just everyone wanting to be video game designer. Now all I need to do is somehow figure out how to text message President-elect Barack Obama and let him in on my observation. I bet the kids could figure out how to. lol