Posted by: crudbasher | October 23, 2012

A Photo That Shows The Challenge Of Teachers

I saw this picture and I felt many emotions. I’ll let you ponder it a piece then I’ll tell you what I thought. (H/T Gizmodo)

Image by Wally Skalij/Getty Images

At first I thought it was a very cool yet very surreal picture. Then however, I saw something else. Here you have two school age kids playing basketball while not caring that the space shuttle was being pulled by. This was literally a once in a lifetime experience and they didn’t care. It was like being gut punched because I realized if the space shuttle passing by didn’t attract these students’ attention, then how can a teacher in a classroom attract it?

Admittedly this picture might be posed or fake. Even so, I think the message it sends is real.

Any thoughts?



  1. The elephant that’s in the room is that for some, education is not important. We need to have a discussion about what our cultures value with families in our community. What do they wish for their children’s future and then how we all can help them get there.

    I also think that school should not be mandatory. Yes, make it optional. Available to all, but not forced. Learning cannot take place in a punitive environment. After the short chaos that will ensue, I firmly believe a new attitude will emerge about getting an education.

    I would like to see trust in our children, our schools and our communities to form. We can trust our children to invest in their lives and their futures when we give them room to be trustworthy. It is ultimately up to them to decide what to do.

    • That’s an excellent point Darleen. They say you never wash a rental car. When something is given for free, it has no intrinsic value. I agree with your excellent observations.

  2. Not to be nasty about it, but I’d only make school optional if we concurrently dismantle all welfare, food stamps, and other programs that support those who don’t work (or prepare themselves to work). Those of us who get an education and find well-paying jobs aren’t interested in being forced to support those who fail to get an education and find productive work. (Supporting widows, orphans, and the disabled is another matter – but even there, I’d prefer it to be voluntary giving. It isn’t “tzedakah” if it’s compelled by the IRS under threat of seizure or imprisonment).

    Then, if parents and children freely decide “education isn’t worth their time”, then they can live with the results of their free choice.

    • Doug that does sound nasty (certainly not politically correct) but you have a good point. The Neanderthals left their caves each day to hunt because if they didn’t they starved. Necessity is an important driver of the human condition. I remember what President Ford said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take it away”. Or something like that.

      Thanks for commenting!!

  3. Here’s a thought – I live off the path the Endeavor shuttle took to get to the California Science Museum. That shuttle took days to travel because of complexities with street closures, ensuring nothing was damaged, photo ops, etc. These kids could very well have been fascinated by the shuttle for hours. Then they lost some interest as we all would. It did not travel fast and there were tons of people viewing it.

    It’s a bit of an assumption (1. because they are black 2. because they are playing basketball and not interested in the shuttle) to believe that therefore these kids aren’t trying their best at school. I get the drive for education. I wish for all children to feel as curious about the world as I am. But we often attract our preconceived notions on what we perceive that may not have any bearing on reality.

    • Hi Gordon,

      I envy you that you were nearby when the shuttle came around. I would have loved the opportunity to see that.

      I think perhaps you misinterpret what I was trying to say in my post. I don’t believe made any assumptions about how these kids did in school, nor did I make any comment at all about their race. I even mentioned at the end that I didn’t know if the picture was real or staged. The only facts you can derive from the picture are 1. the shuttle was passing by 2. the kids are school aged and 3. they are playing basketball. Therefore I was using the picture as a metaphor for the difficult task teachers have to try to motivate students these days when even marvels like the shuttle are commonplace to the new generations.

      Thanks for commenting!

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