I was inspired to write this post after attending a baptism this weekend.
After the “main event”, the officiant began his sermon on the topic of “House Rules”. As I listened to the officiant and his partner share their personal experiences, the lightbulb went on when they shared their “stages of parenting” definition.
Even though I was hoping to take away some information on how I could be a better parent to my two young girls, all I could think about was how these stages relate to the transition between high school and university. The transition involves so much more than just moving away from home, meeting new people, finding new interests and studying new subjects.
The transition requires the student to understand the new responsibility that comes with being a post-secondary student. And that is what many students fail to realize.
I am going to rework the officiant’s “stages of parenting” into my definition of the stages of education.
- The first stage in the process is the disciplinary phase. I consider children from nursery to pre-school age to be in this stage. The student’s responsibility at this stage is to listen to and watch the teacher model appropriate actions in order to learn the standard rules of acceptable behaviour.
- The second stage of the relationship is the training phase where the teacher lets go of some of the control (a little at first and more later on) and the student’s responsibility is to start using the skills, tools and knowledge she has acquired. Students from kindergarten all the way up to about grade 8 would be in this phase.
- The final stage is the coaching phase. This is the best stage and why I love my job. In this phase, it is the student’s full responsibility to figure out what needs to be done and how best to do it. This stage starts in early high school and carries on all the way into post-secondary studies. At this stage the teacher trusts that the student is capable of formulating a plan and making decisions. The teacher is there to encourage, advise, support, motivate and guide the student. You know, remind them of the “game plan” every now and again.
Students in the coaching phase are responsible for:
- Attending “practices” – classes, seminars, labs
- Completing “training” workouts – readings, assignments, exercises
- Analyzing “post-game” – seeking and applying feedback
And so much more.
Do yourself a favour and before you attend a post-secondary institution be ready to take on the new responsibilities that come with it.
Photo Credit: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/zetson/3036254720/”>zetson> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>