I have a student with a very strong personality. He is strong willed. Another term is “spirited.” My son is a “spirited” child, which took my wife time and training to catch up with. I’ll come back to that in another post.
This student of mine has had serious behavior issues in the past. He’s one of my project students. He’s made tremendous growth this year and is holding himself accountable to the expectations I’ve placed on him.
This kid has one heck of an interesting mind. For all of his academic challenges, ELL & low socio-e to scratch the surface, he, at times, has an almost overwhelming vision for how he wants and needs things to be (a characteristic of spirited or strong willed children. Anxiety is another.)
The other day, he asked me for some money so he could go buy paints. I told him to go to the dollar store. He told me he didn’t have any money. I told him, “Get a job. Start a business.”
He asked, “Doing what?”
Flashback to Christmas.
He is Muslim and his family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but he loves art and knows I celebrate Christmas. So, like Buddy the Elf, he single handedly decorated our portable with drawings of candy canes and Santa Claus, hand made snowflakes, ribbon and garland on borders around the room. He bought and brought small plastic Christmas trees to place on tables and a short strange of lights for ambiance.
With this in mind, I reminded this student of the powerful decorative force he was and how much he loved it. I told him to consider selling art to people.
“Start an Instagram account and share your creations with the world.”
I told him to launch a free, commerce based website. Immediately curious, he asked me all kinds of questions for how to get started.
This was Tuesday.
Today, he told me is going to start selling custom birthday cards for $3 a piece. He said he posted a couple pictures on Instagram and people were interested. He was able to borrow enough money from friends to get a set of nice, new markers to decorate his creations.
This kid will still have his challenging days, but at age 12, he’s already launching his own business. I’m excited to see where this student and his business are in 10 years and tomorrow, I’m placing an order for one of his custom birthday cards.