A recent study by Northeastern University in Boston attempted to determine how schools and parents could close the gap between what is expected by state testing and what’s expected by future employers. So what are the skills expected by employers? In the 2016 study referenced here, 80% of employers responding are looking for leadership skills. The second highest skill, at 79%, is that of communication.
I believe one of the benefits of having students in small classes is that they can experience leadership opportunities in a safe environment. Students have the opportunity to communicate with peers as they present reports and projects. It’s also why we emphasize writing so heavily -- to ensure students have a solid grasp on written communication.
At home you can ask your child why or how they are doing something. Give them the time to explain it completely, allowing them time to revise their sentences as needed. It’s valuable to do this both orally and in written form. Encourage them to write notes of thanks or apology (even to siblings), a diary, or a journal. As older children learn a skill, give them the opportunity to teach that skill to younger children. At school we reinforce these skills by partnering older students with younger students as reading buddies, but you can do the same at home.
We are all leaders in some area of our life and need to be prepared for that. As parents, you are leaders of your children. God has placed you in this position, and hopefully your children will someday be parent/leaders as well.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal