As stated in my last post, school is back! Many parents and guardians are scrambling to make sure their students are ready. After buying supplies and preparing for school schedules, what else can you do to help the students in your life?
1) Take advantage of school programs. In the last few years, several schools have split their students into specialized learning groups, communities, or academies. This is to help students think about their interests, future careers, etc. Each program has specialized counselors to guide your students in their fields of interest. Take part in your student’s education by checking out what programs your school has.
2) Encourage interests. No matter what your student’s interests, encourage them. Whether it’s art, performing, math, science, reading–whatever. Encouragement is the expression of approval and support, and it gives students the courage to try something new or challenging. When you encourage your student’s individual interests, you are fostering passion for life.
3) Teach life skills. Students who succeed are ones who know how to apply school lessons to life in general. Skills such as critical thinking, personal interaction, and problem-solving will get your student further than memorizing any chapter in any class. How can students hone these skills? By reading, writing, math, and science, of course! Any of the core classes can teach these skills, but it takes a role model to teach how to use these skills.
4) Understand that failure leads to growth. There is so much pressure to succeed, and of course we want our students to succeed. However, they also need to understand how to handle mistakes and failure. It’s okay not to know all the answers. Overcoming mistakes is how we learn. Success.com (and Success magazine) had a great article on “Why Failure is Good for Success.” Understanding how to deal with mistakes and failure leads to less shame and more successful students!
5) Help them forge their own paths. Parents often want their children to “become” some career, because as adults, we see that some careers are simply more lucrative than others. And while it’s nice to point out those careers, remember that our students are not our clones nor should we push them towards careers we wish we had done. Help your students figure out their own career paths, because that will lead to better success.
Success is just the accomplishment of one’s goals. Help your students figure out what their goals are, both in the short-term and long-term, and everyone will be on the road to success. If you’re not sure how to figure out goals, stay tuned for my post on goal-setting! Until then, happy learning!