It’s no small feet to graduate from high school. In todays society the cards are stacked against our youth. Our kids battle so many different pressures than I did when I was growing up. It is no small feet to graduate high school in todays world.
As parents we struggle to grasp what they are faced with and at the end of the day find ourselves in unchartered territory more often than not. Influences coming from every angle and are continuously changing the way we think, the way we live, and the way we survive.
When I was a student, even though drugs and alcohol were around, it seemed as though my biggest obstacles were social. Who drove, who dated who, Friday night football games, the latest music and who dedicated what to who on the radio, *69 (of your too young to remember thats a blog for another day) and of course the latest fashion. Today, our students have to worry about their personal lives being exposed on any kind of social media, violence, very real drug and alcohol pressure, bullying, self identity, violence, and abuse. These are all before they ever step foot in a classroom.
Speaking from 26 years of experience with multiple children in schools in multiple states, I have to say their biggest hurdle is not the previously mentioned obstacles, but school itself.
Yes I said it! But let me explain what I mean.
From the State all the way down to the teacher, we need to relook at how we teach our children, protect our children, and prepare our children for adulthood. Heads up, in no time, our children will be adulting, and we need to do better at preparing them.
State to state, county to county, school to school, the rules change. What is taught, how it’s taught, and how we measure comprehension. Schools put so much emphasis on scores, numbers, and excellence…but forgot the basics. What happened to life skills (preparing taxes, managing checkbooks, understanding credit, cause and effect) that prepare them for the rest of their lives.
Our schools cater to the ivy league student and the 4.0. Our students who need to be taught are too often left behind. Educators rely on the parents, society, and social media to teach our youth.
I know some great teachers and don’t want to seem as though I’m bashing anyone. Those great teachers don’t forget about the struggling student. They show up to ensure that none of our students are left behind, but In the end, the state, county, and school have stacked the deck against them too. The pressures of fast paced curriculum, sensitive subject matter, and benchmarks on standardize testing limit the time they can spend actually teaching.
It’s been a long road, not just for me as a parent but for our kids to grow up, become adults, and graduate. It was a much different road than I knew. The hurdles were high, the challenges much more dangerous, and all of the ways in which their success was measured were anything but standard.
Regardless of all of this, they made it. They did it. As a momma, I did it too. We navigated this world together and graduated.
To all of the parents out there, you can do this and your kids can’t do it without you. It may all be very different from when we were growing up… just stay involved, fight for your kids, and let them know that this is the biggest accomplishment of their young lives so far. Once they achieve graduation, they will have an understanding of what it feels like to set a goal, work hard, overcome, and achieve something they set out to do. They’ve got this, and so do you!