Five important things a parent can do to help their children and their schools.
Moving our schools toward spending more time on what our students need for their success is our century’s great challenge.
But what parent wouldn’t do what they could to have their kids be successful... and happy too?
- Offer to share your own expertise or passion for your work or hobby by taking a group of students to your workplace and showing them what your work world is like, or by helping to organize and support a group student project related to your work, skill or hobby.
- Encourage your teachers to do (and your principal and school board to support) more learning and service projects that deal with real world issues (like energy use, disaster relief, poverty, health, etc.).
- Actively support your child’s interests, hobbies and passions, (like music, skateboarding, art, inventing, etc.) and help them build both their knowledge and their 4C skills while pursuing their passion. Also let your teachers know more about your child’s interests and discuss how their motivation can be incorporated into other school learning experiences.
- Try (and it’s often a real struggle) to steer your child’s use of technology at home toward online reading, researching and creating things related to their passions (like making a video with friends, or a web page biography of someone who shares their passion).
- Read up on economic and workforce trends (like The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman), on what motivates us to learn (like Mindset, by Carol Dweck), on the skills most needed for our times (like our book, 21st Century Skills by Trilling and Fadel), and on schools on the leading edge of education (like Education Nation by Milton Chen). Share what you learn with your kids.