A blogpost about another blogpost.

Katie Martin recently tweeted out a link to this blogpost by Trevor Muir.

Stop what you’re doing and read this blog. Not mine, Trevor’s. Read it, especially if you are a parent.

I read this amazing post. All of my educator and parent bells started ringing. And actually not in that order. My dad bells were clanging away with great gusto. Trevor is talking about my kids. My own two children.

Two regrets or things I wish I had done differently with my kids when they were younger.

  1. Let them fail more. Get grit. Let them struggle more and get themselves back on their own feet. Life requires it. Both kids got done with college and looked around and kind of said, “Huh. Now what?” Everything had been programmed to go to the next step…except after college. They both have had to figure things out on their own. It’s very hard for this dad to not just try to solve all their problems. I still struggle with that.
  2. Collaboration, creativity, communication critical thinking. I don’t know if it’s bad form to wholesale quote another blogpost, so I apologize in advance. Here’s a chunk from Trevor’s writing and thinking that hammered me. “Young adults struggle with confidence. I wonder if having kids take roughly 112 mandatory high-stakes tests between kindergarten and senior year, tests that only measure a sliver of who you really are and what you’re really capable of, but are the deciding factor for your future, has anything to do with it. I wonder if that has anything to do with skyrocketing anxiety as well?” Wow. I wish I had noticed how little opportunity they had in school to do the essential/soft skills.

I will no longer refer to these skills as soft skills. They are essential. It also turns out, based on my own kids’ experiences, that the work force is dying for employees with these skills. Especially the work ethic one. My kids both have great work ethic. I assume they get that from their mother. They are now 27 and 25 and have great lives going on.

What are we doing in our schools to give kids the opportunity to live, learn, and grow these essential skills? I feel like we are in our district. I do love the challenge is this great line from Trevor, “People struggle to communicate? Well, have we taught them to communicate? Or are they sitting in rows most of the time, not being allowed to talk.”

Every so often a lightening bolt arrives via twitter or a blogpost. In this case it came from both.

Thank you Katie and Trevor.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 36 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 5 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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