The Teacher Says… by Fred Bijster

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By Fred Bijster

A very good friend of mine did primary school and decided that was enough; he went to work and do some business of his own.

He was seen as “not one of the brightest” at school.

At this moment he is a tycoon in Holland, advising companies and ministers alike, giving lectures everywhere and running some 20 companies of his own.

I met him some 30 years ago when he started his first leisurepark. And I was flabbergasted by this man. His philosophy is simple: use your common sense, trust your instinct, believe in what you do and work hard. He also told me that school and schooling would have blocked him instead of support him in his development. And in a way….. he is right.

Countless times I’ve heard the teacher say: “that is impossible”, “you can’t do that”, “that is wrong”, etc. Explaining me that the only way to a certain goal was the way he himself knew and taught me. Allright, sometimes telling me there were two ways, but definitely not “my way”. In hindsight I must admit: his way surely was safe; it was accepted, proven, and most of the time leads to success. But at the same time it kills creativity, personal approach, individuality and closes the door to new ways of thinking.

If all of us would only do what the teacher tells us, we are nothing more than a copy of the past. New roads are not explored. That’s one of the reasons I like rebels. The greatest minds we know from the past went away from what was accepted and had very creative minds; found new perspectives, explored new roads.

The cause is of course coming from their own personality, but it needs to be stated that education in those days was very different from now. The idea of the Homo Universalis was very prominent: you should now it all. Science and art were very much interwoven. And carried the same weight.

Art inspires and stimulates creativity; it might be just that part of our education (nowadays very much seperated from science) that triggered those brilliant minds.

Science can be a limiting factor to all that art has to offer in our education and our personal development: the freedom to go where your dreams take you.
Let science explain what art gives us. Do not let science dictate what is right or wrong, what we can or can’t do. Don’t allow the teacher to stop you from exploring new ways.

Fred Bijster

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