The Day After Tomorrow, Again
By Ms. Nuzman
I am not a writer or a researcher, I am a teacher. Nowadays I feel like that means I have to be a little bit of everything. That can probably be said by everyone. It feels like being one thing is just not enough anymore. Without using buzz words like Growth Mindset or SMART Goals, I think I usually just focus on everything in moderation. Otherwise, I would get way too stressed out and overwhelmed. I think that goes for my students too. It is easier to focus on one thing.
Unfortunately, it may not be enough to prepare for just one thing, college or career. It does not have to be one over the other. In reality, it is both. Do not spend your life preparing for a future that no longer exists. This idea is not original, it comes from one of my favorite disaster movies, The Day After Tomorrow. See that, attempting to cite my sources like a “real” writer. I also like the saying fake it until you make it. So for this article, that is what I will do. Every New Year, I put my researcher cap on and collect data from anyone and everyone I can. I ask them a pretty simple question, “what advice do you have for current students?”. Then I look at the responses and try to see how those match up with our current content.
Here are some results. Students should know how to self learn/teach. Students should know how to study and write. Students should know how to file taxes, budget, and invest. Students should know how to self-advocate. Students should know how to get help. I will say there is probably some bias here, mostly my teacher friends responded this year.
Right away, I have to say, I am still struggling with almost all of these things. I do know how to file taxes, but that is about it. The way I learn has changed so much over the years, I am constantly playing catch up. I know as a teacher, that is too true for my students. So my advice, KEEP TRYING. You probably already know the outcome of giving up, it should not be a surprise, I am sure that negative loop is in your face all the time already. But no one will know the outcome of your success because that will be completely up to you! You are in charge of your decisions and actions when you become an adult. First, you have to get there. Do not give up, it is worth it. It is time to dream and to work towards those dreams, and change those dreams as you see fit to be the best version of you. Prepare for anything and everything.
I obviously am still learning to write, but if you remember, we are pretending that I am a writer for the purpose of this article (how’s it going?). I should say I do know how to budget, but the secret is, budgets change and adjust to life, not the other way around. Invest? Uhm… Maybe. I am working on it. I am asking those with more experience than me for advice and trying to implement one thing each year. Oh no, that sounds like I know how to ask for help and use SMART Goals! Sorry, I need to work on my confidence as well. I should have started this by stating that I can do more than I feel like I can at first. I know that is true for my students too! I know you may not feel like you know how to self-advocate, so hopefully that is something you can work on here at CalPac. We have so many confidence boosters in place, though it is really up to you to use them and grow your mind. Uh oh, did I just restate Growth Mindset without citing a source? (No, really asking here, I hope someone is checking my work so I can get some feedback on how to be a better writer by next year).
I think, as a teacher and a student, that I have so many hopes and it can really feel like a lot. I need to remember my own advice, moderation. I will take a step back, look at the big picture, and try to see what really matters. If I have not mastered all the things myself, then I do not expect my students to have either. However, having the tools to troubleshoot, to problem solve, that is what matters. All of those lists of things you should know comes down to that. If you know how to use the tools you have, you can figure everything else out. That is achievable for CalPac students, to have a Growth Mindset and some SMART Goals. BUZZ BUZZ! I feel terrible that it took this much reading and writing for me to say that. Maybe most importantly, what are your thoughts? What advice do you have for current students? Would you actually take your own advice?