Dequoted: Michael J. Fox

A couple of my friends on Facebook have shared this image with these words.

mjfquoteAlthough there are no quote marks and an actual written indication of Fox saying it, one is still lead to believe that he, in fact, did say this.  Many of the comments reflect this.  I did a quick google search to see who said this and there is no evidence he came up with this phrase.  It is accredited to Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada who was a ventriloquist, motivator and educational consultant.  Many sources listed that he is the original person who said this.  There is actually little I could find on him except the fact that he had said this and lived in Texas and passed away in 2010.

Maybe that is why Fox was chosen as the representative.  It makes it more credible than to have a person (not famous) pictured there.  Plus, Fox brings with him a certain level of credibility because he has faced his illness head on and openly with the public.  Whatever the reason for doing this, I think that it is still not justified.

The other element of this quote is in which much of the context.  What is the context?  Is it to insult teachers and the profession?  Is it actively open a discussion about how children are taught because this is the root cause of many problems in educational systems?  I’m open to a discussion about it.

I personally do not agree with this quote from an institutional perspective.  It seems rather harsh and backwards to not agree.  Like I am not open to a child’s struggle to learn.  In fact, children can have difficulty learning – they are learning disabilities.  And if a child has this I do believe that the learning style should be adjusted and the manner in which they learn should be altered.  Outside of having a disability and a lower IQ, what is this quote addressing?  If it were addressing children with disabilities and lower IQs then, I would venture that the quote could have mentioned this.  Maybe Estrada was identifying the fact that children with disabilities can not go through the main stream educational system?

Let’s say he wasn’t.  Let’s say he was addressing children with no learning disabilities and IQs that allow them to learn.  Was he saying that the main stream educational system in the USA needs to be altered?  Maybe or maybe not.

I think the context of this quote is from a more broader scale.  It is the teaching, education our children receive all around.  Whether that is within the classroom or at home.  A child’s style of learning should be considered in all aspects of their life – not just in the classroom.  Children learn not only from school or from their teachers but mostly from their parents or primary caregivers.  Maybe we, as parents, need to think about how our children learn from us.  Have we adopted or altered our form of teaching at home?  Do as I say not as I do, sound familiar?  Do parents adjust their styles to each child so the child learns better?

I struggle with this quote when it is used to attack a profession that is so important yet so disrespected.  Teachers, schools get blamed for their children’s grades, their behaviours, their eating habits.  The educational institution, no doubt, should evolve and look at new tools to aid our children’s basic education skills and yet, so should we.

What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Dequoted: Michael J. Fox

  1. Maybe he was speak about children with high IQs how have learning disabilities? Dyslexics kids are often the smartest in the class but have issue absorbing information as it is presented. These children thrive in multi- sensory environments.


  2. I think that at one time I read that Fox had terrible learning disabilities and that he had dropped out of high school. He struggled to read and was dyslexic. So, perhaps that is why they attribute the quote to him. Maybe he believed that the teachers were at fault for his learning problems and that there is a magic trick that teachers can perform to make dyslexic kids learn to read. There is no magic trick. Kids with dyslexia that learn to read have work incredibly hard for many years. Its insulting to imply that teachers could help a child but refuse to do so.


  3. Being an 8th grade LA teacher I feel this quote is fully justified. Have you heard of Gardner’t theory of multiple intelligence? What I think the quote reflects is the new information on information processing in humans. I don’t have time to go into both, and I usually do not respond to these but I had to add some of my thoughts. Do I think teachers should bend so much and teach to the lowest student? No way. I believe that struggling with something is what solidifies learning. However, I do believe through the use of group work, technology, and creative lessons to reach every student. That’s my job!


  4. Based on how ot reads, I’m fairly certain it is stating that people learn differently. Some can read a book and completely understand while others can read all day long and still not understand but gove them somethings hands on and they do great. Everyone learns differently bit teaching to each way (written, oral or hands on) can mean the difference of pass or fail fpr a student and it has nothing to do with IQ or a teachers ability. The problembis the system that streamlines everything and only teaches one way, leaving many students to fall behind.


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