Do you remember that muffled sound played on the Peanuts cartoon, whenever a nagging teacher or parent hassled Charlie Brown’s gang?
That’s what I think I sound like to my teenagers… when I remind them to do something… or worse, when I try to teach them something.
I’m an educator by profession — I work with kids for a living. In spite of my training and experience, however, my teenagers are better off learning some skills and lessons from someone else.
Our world is changing rapidly in many ways.
As a result, the workforce is different. Jobs we can’t even imagine are created every day.
As an educator, I feel it’s difficult to know how to prepare students for their futures! Teachers must foster relevant skills in the classroom: skills for the new world.
A teacher’s new mission is not only to prepare students for tomorrow, to be independent and self-sufficient; but also to be creative problem-solvers who are adaptable, working citizens of the world.
Here is a list of Michael Fullan’s 21st century skills — the 6 C’s — key life skills today’s students need for their world:
There may be snow on the ground and cold temperatures outside, but before we know it, summer will be here!
Has your teen thought about how she will spend her summer? Volunteer work, employment? Pursuit of high school credits, or other certifications?
Now is the time to get things organized so students can bank some meaningful experiences, and, maybe some cash in their savings accounts.
There are many compelling reasons to take time after high school or after a college/university degree program is done, to take a breath and find adventure. You’ve heard it called the “Gap Year.”
Here we are in the heart of winter…..
….and I’m going to tell you something about summer:
It’s time to think about your kids’ summer activities.
Huh? What the heck is that?!
You won’t find a definition for this buzz word in the Oxford Dictionary. Or any other formal English dictionary for that matter. But you’ll hear it among young people, who have used the term for a couple years now – when referring to “behaving” like a responsible adult.
Urban Dictionary defines adulting: to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
High school students who seek my services often complain about their lack of motivation, trouble with focus, or ongoing procrastination.
My diagnosis: a lack of clear goals.
Without goals during your educational journey, you could drift through your courses, school day after school day, and probably not fulfill your academic potential.
Recently, I’ve been reading about the life skills kids need to be successful and independent in the 21st century. In the real world.
I’ve read books and articles through a “teacher lens,” but can’t avoid my other “parent lens.” Some information has caused me to cringe, while I reflect on my parenting style!
Have my own kids acquired life skills, age-appropriately?
I’m not sure I’ve done enough pushing to get my two teens to contribute to household chores, yard work, pet care, and cooking. Have you?
If you have a teenager in grades nine or ten, it’s time to get thinking about her career interests and goals.
Make a plan.
Think about finances.
Make sure that your teenager accomplishes key goals before the busy grade twelve year of graduation and applications.
Does your child speak up for herself?
Does she express her wants and needs to the adults in her life? Think about the vital life skill of self-advocacy and how your child works it. How would she self-advocate at school?
Most of us can name a few amazing teachers who shaped who we are today. The teacher who pushed you to think outside the box, the teacher who motivated you to fulfill your potential, the teacher who inspired you to love learning.
What about the dreadful teachers in your past?
What do you do when your child has a monster teacher?