Helping our Children Become Problem-Solvers and School Leaders
When I consider my son’s first year experiences attending college away from home, I must adjust my administrative guidance for the teachers working with college bound middle and high school students. I am learning that helping our students develop life skills is even more important for college survival than added academic skill development.
How You Can Support College Life Skills
Examples of essential life skills for university attendance success include:
- Our children must be mindful that they are competing with a variety of successful students from many different life experiences. They must strive to be their best selves when making new friends for social-emotional and academic support.
- Social-emotional support at the college is as important as it is at home.
- When we send our children off to college, we are worried about their safety. We must trust that we have provided our children with the life skills necessary to make good choices and be resilient when times are tough.
- As our children make choices about their living needs, we must give them the space and time required for making wise decisions even if we do not initially agree with some of their decisions.
- Although our children may become overwhelmed with various aspects of college living and academic learning, we must encourage them to identify support systems that will assist them to achieve successfully in daily life and in completing their various academic courses.
- We must support our child when they make mistakes and teach them that they can learn by correcting mistakes and trying again.
- Although we want to protect our children from adversity and making mistakes, we must be there for them for reflective listening and support.
How Schools Can Support Your Child’s Life Skill Development
When conducting staff development trainings this fall, I am helping teachers strategize on how they can help their students expand their life skills beyond classroom learning. We are using project-based learning as one instructional strategy to help our students learn how to problem-solve and expand their social-emotional skills when working in teams to create a product or project. Students must learn to fully engage with others to inspire personal and collective student growth. As students learn to value themselves and others in project-based learning experiences, they will take more pride in their personal and collective growth as problem-solvers and school leaders.
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