This is the second in a series of articles about helping your child achieve their dream profession. Many students have an idea of what they’d like to do after graduation by their freshman year of high school. Unfortunately, these same students do not know what classes to take or extra-curricular activities will help with their career choice. The sooner a child starts there’s more of an opportunity for scholarships. These articles will give you suggestions on what you can do to help your child from people who are established in their respective fields.
People are often under the assumption that teaching is no more than standing in front of twenty kids and reciting what the kids are supposed to know. If it was that simple, everyone would do it and every child would attain straight A’s. The ability to teach is a gift. A teen who has the gift can start honing it at a young age so they’re prepared to face the next generation of students.
I would advise any parent to let their children find meaning to their "learning" and how they can positively impact their future as well as the future of others. I admire so many people that have chosen their specific career. Those that are good with their hands, those that care for the wounded and sick, and those that keep our community safe are just a few of those I admire. Just know that when they "know" they just "know".
By 8th grade I had already acquired 500 community device hours at the recreation center. I've always wanted children to make meaning of their learning, which gives them lifetime opportunities to use what they know.
Encourage your teen to babysit or volunteer in a child centered atmosphere ie...the library or perhaps tutoring. Too many people think the college degree qualifies one to teach. It doesn't. If you can't juggle multiple personalities and stay calm in a crisis you will never survive in a modern classroom.
I think the most basic idea is for them to be reflective of their own experience in learning and to be reflective of different teaching styles and what was "useful" or not. I think every kid can identify a teacher that really taught them in a way that was successful for most or all kids in the class. What did that teacher do that was different from the other teachers, reflect on that.
I believe that the most successful teachers are able to be self-reflective about their craft and work to improve it each day. I think the sooner kids can learn this skill the better. So parents should encourage their children to reflect and analyze various things in meaningful, productive ways.
I would recommend students volunteering in a school or Sunday school to get some experience working with children. I would also find out if your school district has a Teacher Academy program. In our district our Teacher Academy program is provided at our Career and Technology Center. Students who take this course will receive college credit as well as have field experience.
Summer camps or day care centers that has after school care/summer camps need junior counselors to help with children.
Parents can help their child become a teacher by realizing that teachers really help students figure out not only a math problem or how to write a sentence. They help students navigate through the maze of decision making, social situations and drama! Teachers inspire. Students should want to meet that challenge and help their community by becoming not just a teacher but a mentor.
Have your child read a wide variety of books and materials. The more they know the more they can teach.
The student should always be the best they can be, be up and excited about every subject. They should also always be learning; be humble, realize there is always more to learn.
Your child should observe teachers during high school years to find characteristics common among good versus bad teachers. Especially, note the ones who made what was expected to be a dull or boring course into an interesting course. If the student really wants to become a teacher someday, he/she could interview favorite teachers after finishing courses to ask how they have strived to make them more stimulating and interesting.
Education is a two-way street and if your child wishes to be on the other side when they finish their own schooling, they have the opportunity to lead the next generation. As parent, you can put your child on the right track to accomplish this goal.