What do you want to be when you grow up? Preschool students are asked this question at their end-of-the-year celebration. The children often choose the occupation of a parent. Occasionally, you will get choices like football player, teacher, princess or hunter. While answers are invariably cute, translating a childish wish into reality is not an easy task.
As principal of Beacon, I think the real question is what do we want our children to be when they grow up? Of course we all want our children to be healthy and happy. Beyond this, we think about jobs and careers. As parents and educators, it is never too early to begin to equip our children with the needed attitudes and skills which will afford them multiple opportunities and choices throughout their lives.
Over the next couple of years, schools across Washington state will be implementing the new required Common Core State Standards as the basis of required curriculum. The CCSS were created with a focus on equipping all students with skills in math, reading, writing and science that will be required to be successful in the modern working world.
Apart from these academic skills, students must be equipped with personal attributes. First is the willingness to work and apply effort toward achieving goals. Equally important is the ability to get along with other people. Collaboration and team work are significant requirements of most any occupation. Our children need to know following rules is an important component of living in society and on the job. The daily start time the boss gives you is not a suggestion, but a requirement. There is no substitute for doing quality work or getting along with others.
While schools strive to provide students with academic skills, it is parents who have the most influence over developing personal attributes. Children should learn the value of work. Children should learn to make an effort and try again if they are not successful at first. Learning any skill is not magical, but requires concentration, experience, time, repetition and effort. Parents can do a great deal by expecting their children to be successful and not accepting excuses for poor performance or lack of effort.
The first trimester report cards were sent out Friday, Dec. 13. Primary report cards list a student’s success in achieving the Common Core State Standards. Also listed are behaviors that affect learning and social intelligence. Parents should pay attention to all of these areas, as long-term success in our modern world requires all these skills. The education students receive at Beacon is just the beginning of many years of formal schooling. Along with parents, we want to provide our children with the opportunity to succeed in any endeavor they may choose.