Somebody please give my son a job » KathSwinbourne

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Jan 24 2012

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Somebody please give my son a job

Number 3 child is having another career change.

This is the child who was often bored at school because he found things too easy. I’d ask his teachers to give him more difficult work to keep him interested, only to have them reply that he wasn’t showing them he could do it.

“That’s because he’s bored” I’d keep insisting. “If you give him something that will actually make him think he’ll show you what he’s capable of.” It was an ongoing dilemma. If things were too easy he’d fail because he couldn’t be bothered, so his teachers would make it easier – only to have him switch off even more.

He’s had a few excellent teachers through the years that have really pushed him and sparked his interest in learning, but at the other end of the scale he’s had some real horrors.

At a parent/teacher night at the beginning of one year I told his teacher that if she kept him interested he’d give her 110%. “I’ve got a lot of children to keep interested” she replied as if somehow being interesting was a new concept in teaching.

That’s the same teacher who told him to stop reading Lord of the Rings because he couldn’t do two assignments on the same book. He was 10. It was another six years before he started reading it again.

So mostly he coasted through school, frustrating his teachers and me in equal measure.  The comments on most of his school reports read “If he’d apply himself he could do really well.” Along with “He is very witty and amusing”. Hmmm. Hello class clown!

In year 12 he didn’t even hand in all his assignments, and he still got a high enough mark in the HSC to be accepted at Sydney University. A couple of his teachers had inspired him to want to teach. And a few had shown him how he didn’t want to do it!

After one week at Sydney Uni he decided he wasn’t ready for it yet, so he deferred for a year.  He spent the next year working, earning money and learning something about what life’s like outside school before going back to uni last year.

Then he spent all last year in a dilemma. He loved learning, and really wanted to learn more about some of his subjects, but he hated uni and the way things were taught.

So now he’s dropped out again. Permanently this time.

He’s decided that university isn’t for him, and what he really does love is gardening (that and music, but try to earn a living as a muso!). When he was a teenager gardening together was one of our mother/son bonding activities. He’d make lots of suggestions about landscaping and different plants and even did some paving and built water features. I’d come home some days and find the back garden completely changed around because he decided things didn’t look quite right. He did the same with his friends’ parents’ gardens.  (are all those apostrophes right??? It looks weird.)

So now we’re off to TAFE to enrol him in a Certificate course in Horticulture.

Now all he needs is a job.

Anybody looking for a gardener???

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/somebody-please-give-my-son-a-job/

1 comment

  1. crubin

    It was as though I was reading about my own son! Though he is still in high school, I often hear from his teachers how he is just not reaching his full potential, which, given he is extremely bright, is never fun for a parent to hear. Thanks for an interesting post!

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