Wisdom Wednesday

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What’s the mission?

Mission statements are everywhere these days. Corporations, schools, non-profits…everyone agrees that having a clear vision of where you want to go and how you plan to get there is a key to success. There’s research that proves that writing down goals makes it more likely that you’ll achieve them. So as a parent and teacher, I’d like to know, what is the greater mission statement of the public schools in our country?

Lots of schools have their own mission statements with statements about how they hope to create life-long learners, respond to the diverse needs of learners, etc. This article, from Education World, discusses the use of mission statements in schools. I see great value in schools having an agreed-upon, common vision. Making that plan highly visible to the community helps ensure that parents, students and teachers present a united front on what they hope to accomplish. As a parent, however, I have started to think about what I value and what I want as the end-goal of my children’s time in school.

For me, my mission statement is simple. I want my children to be well-prepared to make meaningful contributions to society.

How do we accomplish this?

That’s the big question. It’s my personal feeling that preparing students for this goal is part social, part academic. The ability to think critically, an understanding of social interactions, and a strong foundation of academic skills are essential. Thinking about it, if a child is awake from 7am-8pm, he or she is spending 8 hours, more than half their “awake time”, at school. That kind of influence scares me a little, and makes me think about the importance of knowing what goes on there. As my sons grow older and approach school-age, it’s becoming more and more important to me that I understand what they’re doing in school and why they’re doing it.

What are your hopes for your child’s schooling? What do you think the school’s ultimate goal should be for your child?

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