This pandemic is revealing a lot about how well we are preparing our children for their future. We have to ask ourselves if they have the skills they need to handle life’s unexpected twists and turns. If not, let this be our wake-up call. Adaptability, critical thinking, collaboration, and compassion are vital to weathering these storms. Unfortunately, these are not skills they learn in our standardized school systems. In fact, they learn the opposite–compliance, dependence, and competitiveness.
We have an extraordinary opportunity to improve our children’s quality of life and their ability to deal with life’s inevitable transitions. We have the freedom to choose how we react to this unprecedented time. Let’s choose wisely.
The Wizard of Oz is more than just a movie. It is a metaphor for life. It highlights the cultural tethers that limit self-worth and emphasizes the importance of community. It also provides a road map for navigating uncertain times. Here are a few of my favorite lines and the insights they provide:
Life has funny twists and turns. In 2016, when my youngest daughter, Allison, was a freshman in high school, she asked me if she could attend a summer program at NYU with a […]
Each of my daughters has struggled at times when they are out of their comfort zone. Whether it’s a new job, a new situation, or when they first leave home to live […]
“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior,” according to renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. Could it be that the abnormal reactions we are seeing in our youth–anxiety, depression, addiction, suicide–are normal behaviors and that the situations we have placed them in are abnormal? Could our current education system be one such abnormal situation?
Like pioneers, we must band together to prepare students to adapt to this new economy, while schools undergo significant restructuring. Parents, businesses, and community leaders must take responsibility–individually and collectively–for building a community-based ecosystem that helps students develop vital skill sets (adaptability, collaboration, creativity, tech-savvy, critical thinking) and gain exposure to the real world.
The last of my three daughters graduated from high school this year. As I reflect on our family’s experiences within the culture of compulsory education, I feel like we have emerged from […]
“Your money or your life” was a popular hold-up phrase in old westerns, but it also applies to the feeling most students and their families have today regarding the long road to […]
Viktor Frankl was right. In 1965, the world-renowned psychiatrist and author of Man’s Search For Meaning described the U.S. system of education as ‘mechanistic’–a system that treated students like machines rather than […]