|Rodrick and daughter|
Our daughter is in the 7th grade. She’s very intelligent and quite articulate. Still, there are times when she loses focus and her grades don’t reflect her true capabilities. As this school year started I challenged her to make the Honor Roll each grading period this year. And if she does, there’s a special item that she wants that I’ll get for her.
In her new school however, she has 6 classes and 6 different teachers. Each has his/her own teaching style. And now she has to carry her textbooks and notebooks between the different classes. It may not seem like much but for an 11 year old, it can be overwhelming. In the past, her teacher would figuratively hold her hand and guide her along. Now she was somewhat on her own. So if she forgot to write down an assignment or that she has a test coming up, she would go to school unprepared.
Let me also add briefly here that our kids’ grades are our responsibility first. The schools should simply be partners in our children’s education but they are our responsibility first. From a practical standpoint, our children attend a particular school for a finite time. And if they’re successful, they graduate and move on. The school is no longer responsible for their education. But once a parent, always a parent. Our children are always ours so their education is our responsibility primarily.
I encourage you dads and moms to see the very best in your kids. If you don’t, then who will? Just last week I learned that United States is #14 in the world in terms of students’ academic performance. The results were based on a standardized test taken in students’ early teenage years. This is the worst ranking in several years. Based on the analysis that I saw on NBC News, the poor performance is due to a variety of factors including teacher qualifications and pay, education funding and overall prioritization of formal education in each nation.
As the parent of a 12 year old daughter and a newborn son living in the United States, those statistics concern me. At the same time, I know that whether we have high performing schools or low performing schools, I want my children to get the best education possible. So I’m willing to do what’s necessary to provide them with the best resources so that they can be competitive in our changing, advancing world.
If your kids aren’t performing at a high standard, do encourage them to be their very best. And speak words of encouragement to them. Believe me, sooner than later, you will begin to see the positive results that you look for. Let’s build up our kids and not tear them down. As a child in school in Jamaica, I was taught the very simple saying, “The boys and girls of today will be the men and women of tomorrow.” And guess what? Today is tomorrow. And now I’m a man. And the lessons I learned then still guide me today.
I’ll close this post with another saying that I learned as a child. This one is powerful. I encourage you to share it with your kids. It will reap great rewards for years to come: “Labor for learning before you grow old. For learning is better than silver and gold. Silver and gold will vanish away. But a good education will never decay.”
Have an excellent `upbeat’ day.
|Rodrick and family|
The Upbeat Dad