I’ve been reading a lot about Jordon Romero, the 13 year old from Big Bear, California who just became the youngest person to ever summit Mt. Everest. He is one peak away from indisputable conquering the highest peak on each of the seven continents, also called the Seven Summits. He was inspired to attempt the Seven Summits, it is reported, by a painting in the hallway of his school showing the peaks.
In almost every article I have read, there have been doubts raised as to whether or not he should have been allowed to climb. Some commenters even go so far as to suggest negligence or even abuse on behalf of the parents!
I say this: The boy has a dream and he has done everything possible to realize that dream. His parents have done whatever they can to support that dream and to mitigate (but not eliminate) potential dangers.
As teachers, we should be celebrating the achievements of this tremendously motivated young man (and also Jessica Watson, the 16 year old Australian who just finished a solo circumnavigation!). It is this sort of passion that we hope to see and cultivate in our students.
I wonder what Jordan’s and Jessica’s teachers think? Does it matter that they missed that math test? Does what they missed in class even compare to what they’ve learned outside of it?