Shakespeare and Finding Your Student's Why

To learn or not to learn...what is the question?🤔

If your student seems uninterested in their studies, or lacking a clear sense of purpose, the reason may surprise you!

As Curious Cardinals CEO and co-founder Audrey explained on the EdTech podcast, "We don't [tell kids] why they're learning what they're learning in geometry or why they're learning Shakespeare. If people are just doing for the sake of doing and don't know why their daily actions ladder back to a greater why, they will feel disengaged."

The realization came when she was mentoring a student who was struggling with a writing assignment. The task was to make a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest feel more contemporary. The student came up with a creative idea, using Snapchat and emojis to recreate a scene with Audrey. However, she was uncertain about using the idea, and feared being perceived as a 'bad writer'.

Audrey recounts, “I was like, ‘Whoa, wait, why are you writing this assignment?’ And she was like, ‘I don't really know.’ I kept asking until she uncovered that the teacher wanted to show them that themes of Shakespeare are timeless. So taking a creative path was actually an awesome way to go. But she felt so lost because she didn't know the why.”

Knowing the "why" anchors the student in a central purpose. Even if the direction or destination changes from what they originally intended, they still have a North Star, a compass to follow. That “why” can guide them – not just through their education, but through the ever shifting and tempestuous scenes of life.

While many kids feel like they’re in a supporting role in their own lives, every kid deserves to be the main character of their story. A Curious Cardinals mentor will 'direct' your student in chasing down their greater why. Through interest and passion-based learning, your student will develop the skills they need to take center stage!

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Finding Matthew's Why

One of my favorites, Matthew, came to us in 10th grade. He had a consultation call with his dad and when we asked what he’s interested in, he said, “I don't know.” We said, “What do you like to do in your free time when no one's telling you what to do?” And he said, “I like to play video games.”

So we matched Matthew with a mentor to learn how to code a video game. Fast forward, he just started college. He spent 2 years working with multiple CC mentors coding, designing, creating animations, and even sourcing music for his own video game. This fall he launched the video game with an entrepreneurship mentor!

He has built something phenomenal, so impressive it rivals even what my peers at Stanford are making. But more than that, the change in his personality and demeanor, the confidence he has, the conviction in who he is he’s developed – that’s the star. Now it's his dream to be a game designer!

It goes to show that sometimes students don't thrive in the classroom setting or in a certain classroom, but that doesn't mean they're not highly capable, curious, and passionate! When Matthew found his why, his true colors shined, and his best self emerged for the world to see. We want to replicate that for all of our Curious Cardinals mentees!

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