As a student, there is something incredibly powerful when you know that your teachers and administrators truly care. That’s what my son felt about his new school before he ever stepped foot in the building. I remember that as we were driving to the campus, we were in a deep discussion and upon pulling to the corner to turn, we both fell silent.
In front of the school were hundreds and hundreds of signs, all bearing the names of students. There was a sign for each student along with the name of their future college, trade school or military branch. We had never seen this before and after realizing what they were, my son said…”hmm, that’s cool”.
We would go on to spend about an hour touring the school and visiting two programs of interest for my son…computer science and football. After the meeting with the coach, I was sure that my son was eager to join the football team as he loves the sport but something shifted in him in the last month or so.
My son told me that he wanted to leave football and focus on computer science. He said that he felt behind all of the other kids and wanted to dedicate his moments after school to learn. He wanted to learn as much as he could about computers and compete in robotics. He went on to tell me that he believed that computer science offered him an opportunity to “go to the next level” while football did not.
That was the moment that I knew without a doubt that our move was not only great for my career but exceptionally wonderful for my son. That was also the moment that I knew that this move was not about me at all but 100% what is right for him.
Prior to now, my son hasn’t had a single CS class, other than Code Academy. His current school didn’t have a program so this was not an opportunity within reach. I could not help but think about how different his life would be had he had the opportunity to explore coding and robotics in school. His new school works with engineers and competes in First Robotics. It’s authentic creativity and critical thinking that is beyond exciting to experience.
My son chose computer science over football.
In Texas, football is everything and he is choosing to not play so that he can focus on something that has been a hidden passion for a long time. The best part isn’t even that he is making such a huge decision. The best part is that he knows that he can and that is an amazing feeling.
Tonight my son had this to say…
“Mom, when I saw those signs, I knew that I needed to be there. They really do care about their kids. They have a college and career center where counselors help you apply for scholarships. I’m going to spend all of my time in there. I want to go to college so bad mom. The counselors even use this thing called “Remind” to send scholarship alerts to the students. I already signed up for it. I kind of wanted to play football but I really want to be able to spend the time that I need to learn about robotics. Mom, they work with real engineers and that teacher knows a lot about computers. I can definitely learn from her. It just feels good to be able to have a fresh start and not have to worry about being in a place where I am labeled. My life is going to be so much better because of this and I can’t wait.”
I can’t either son…
I can’t either.