How do we prepare students to become leaders of the 21st Century!

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Our world is rapidly changing. How can we help our children keep up?

21st century skills are the new building blocks for learning. Our children will need to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive world, and at the same time be able to collaborate with others. Creativity and innovation will be highly prized for solving challenges.

So how do we prepare our children for the jobs of the future?

What new skills will they need?

Our children will have to be equipped with a mixed skill set encompassing traditional academics, life skills such as collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and career skills such as innovation, technology, and global awareness.

While schools are beginning to make the shift toward 21st century standards, there’s a lot that you can do as a parent to foster these skills at home. It is always better to provide a good foundation at an early age.

Try these ideas as starters for supporting your child’s success.

  1. When children play together, offer them a collective set of play materials to encourage sharing, turn-taking, and social skills.
  2. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking by asking your child to come up with one or two new rules to a familiar game. This helps kids learn to evaluate their ideas, and solve problems in a group.
  3. Invite your child to help you solve common household problems by engineering new solutions. How can you get the back door not to stick? What’s a tidier way to bathe your new pooch?
  4. Encourage your child to participate in family decisions and problem solving, and then praise your child’s efforts to reason through different situations. If they seem hesitant, brainstorm together. Once your child understands that all ideas are welcome, they will feel more confident.

Together we shall prepare our kids to be the leaders of 21st Century!

Values are invaluable Assets

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A young boy once asked his teacher, “Teacher, which career path should I choose when I grow up and where I don’t have to compete with anyone?” The teacher smiled and replied “My dear, choose to become a great human being, and this is the only path where is there is no competition, but there is co-operation, compassion and contentment”.

Well, this is absolutely true; in today’s world success is measured in terms of name, fame or money one has earned in his/her life rather than the values one has inculcated. It is the values that make a human, a society or a country great. I would like to share two incidents which depict how the values within us make this world so wonderful.
Once a chirpy, cheerful child returned home after playing and started narrating to her mother how her team won two throw ball matches. The mother however didn’t pay much attention at the beginning as the child had such stories to narrate almost every day! But the child was highly delighted to share her success story. “Do you know mamma, I played two matches, in the first match, my team had members who kind of knew how to play throw ball, and the opponent team had members who didn’t know how to play, except for the captain. The mother reluctantly said, “What is so great in that, it is obvious that your team has won because you had experts in your team”.
The child replied “wait mamma, let me complete, the opponent captain got angry and said I won because I had a good team, and she told me to exchange the team members. I said fine and we exchanged the members. Now I was leading a team which is new to the game”. Now the mother was curious to know the outcome of the game and asked, “So, did you lose this time”? The child with her sparkling eyes proudly said, “No, we won this time too. Want to know how?” The child continued “Every time the ball came near my team members, I screamed, “catch it, you can do it, you are the best!”. They got inspired by my words and were able to play nicely”. The mother said “that’s interesting, didn’t your opponent captain do that?” The child replied “ No, whenever the ball came near her team members, she shouted “leave, you can’t do it, let me handle”, eventually no one was able to catch the ball, they just dashed each other and the ball was on the ground, She simply didn’t trust her team in both the matches”.
Now it was mother’s turn to feel proud. She kept on musing “when did my child learn these values like trust, teamwork etc.”
A few days later, the mother was browsing through the Facebook pages, and saw a post on one of her child’s teachers in the school’s Facebook page. The child too joined the mother to read about her favourite teacher. After reading, the mother started writing a comment on the post, “you are the best teacher, and I wish all teacher were like you” The child immediately stopped her mother from hitting the post button and said “Mamma, please edit your comments, and please delete the 2nd part of the comment, it gives a feeling that we don’t like other teachers. I love all my teachers and all teachers love me. My teachers never judge me, then why should I judge them”.
The mother was surprised how an eleven year child can think in such a matured manner.
In both the above incidents, the child has exhibited the values deep rooted within her. I am so happy to share that the child is a student of Samsidh MLZS and she is my daughter. We owe a lot to the school for inculcating such priceless values in our children.
We as parents, focus a lot on the marks/grades obtained, awards and accolades won by our children, but pay less attention to the mind-set with which our children are growing. Our children need to develop a co-operative attitude rather than a competitive mind-set. It is better to win over others rather than defeat others. The values such as honesty, humility, compassion and love for the world around make a person happy, guilt free and successful in the journey of life. The happy and contented people in turn make a happy society, and a peaceful world. What can be more valuable than happiness and peace of mind?
It is time we value the values, for they are invaluable assets.

Usha Ramesh
Mother of Shruti Hegde (Grade 6)
MLZS, HSR Branch