Even with all of the struggles that we face each day as we continue to learn to live in the COVID‐19 world we still are faced with the same other concerns that we deal with each and every year. One of those concerns is whether we are preparing our children for life after high school. As parents and/or educators we constantly ask ourselves questions like:
Is my child ready for Kindergarten?
Is my child prepared for the next grade? Is my child prepared for high school?
Is my child prepared for training/education after high school?
Is my child prepared for LIFE?
These are all questions that flow through the minds of parents as their child(ren) travel along the journey of education. To prepare our children for life in our ever expanding global society, learning must occur constantly, consistently and across all locations—school, home, community, etc.. To help ensure that our children will be successful in the future we must make sure that each receive a high school diploma and that each graduate moves from high school into some form of post‐secondary training such as trade‐school, apprenticeships, military or college. Is this enough to ensure success? Answer—
Tony Wagner, author of the book The Global Achievement Gap, interviewed business leaders and discovered seven key abilities that modern employers desire in employees. In the new vision of education in Kansas‐‐‐Kansans Can!, schools are being challenged to move away from the “typical” school and asked to think in broad terms. Standardized tests will not be the single focus, the amount of information asked to be memorized will be decreased while more emphasis will be placed on challenging innovation and curiosity.
To keep our students from falling behind globally, what can parents & schools do to improve the education? Here is the list of Wagner’s seven skills that can be reinforced in schools and homes to improve children abilities:
Promote Critical Thinking and Problem Solving—Allow children the opportunity to work through issues and daily life problems.
Leading by Influence—Allow children the opportunity to express their ideas and learn in groups. Children can not advocate for themselves if the adults intheir lives speak for them all the time.
Agility and Adaptability—Allow and teach children how to handle change and see life as a never ending opportunity to learn.
Initiative and Entrepreneurialism‐‐Allow children to develop and follow their own interest in a safe, productive and learning manner. When they find something they are passionate about......support their passion and curiosity.
Effective Oral and Written Conversation—Challenge children to communicate past just merely Yes and No responses. Challenge their thinking through thought provoking questions and debating hot topics.
Accessing and Analyzing Data— Help the child navigate the web and teach them about what are and are not reliable sources.
Curiosity and Imagination—Encourage children to be inquisitive about the world around them.
To stay ahead in the global society, school and parents together can model these qualities to our children and students. Critical Thinking, Creativity, and
Effective Communication will be the skills that define the new millennium of what our children and grandchildren will experience.
We wish our entire Viking Family a very Merry Christmas and we hope that everyone has a safe and healthy Winter Season.
William J. Clark, Superintendent/Director of Special Services