How can I help my child see the connection between school and work?
We all want our children to receive a good education, obtain a good job, and lead a productive and satisfying life.
Our children want these things, too. Many aren't sure how they are going to get them. Many can't see what's ahead for them. If our children can't see how school relates to their future, they are more likely to tune out in class. They will also be more likely to leave high school without the skills they will need to succeed.
Here are some ways you can help your children make the connection between school and work.
Talk with your children each day about school. Ask them, "What did you learn today? Why did you learn it? How will you use what you learned in the future?"
Support higher academic standards in your schools and help your children meet them. Make sure you know what standards your children are expected to meet. Ask your children's teachers for tips on how you can best help your children at home.
Be a mentor to your children. Talk with them about your work. Help them understand that performance counts, both in school and on the job. Help them explore various careers, and choose extracurricular activities that support their interests.
If your children have part-time jobs, take a few minutes each day to ask them how their jobs went, what they learned and what other employees were doing.
Norwalk High School is participating in "High Schools That Work," a program designed to raise academic standards and enable students who are career-bound either by going on for higher education or going immediately into the world of work.
Consider what talents you can offer. Visit classrooms to talk about your work and career. Host a field trip at your work place and offer to supervise student interns. You may be able to help students with career exploration or find a job shadow or work experience opportunity.
Be an advocate for our schools as we prepare students for successful careers over the backyard fence, at the grocery store, or on the soccer field. Become a resource for other parents and encourage them to get involved.
Dr. Wayne Babcanec is the superintendent of Norwalk City Schools. His column appears every other Friday. For more information on Norwalk City Schools, call (419) 668-2779.