The million dollar question… why am I doing this? Or, the real question that has been churning around in my head as I’ve been preparing to launch this thing, why would anybody pay me to hang around with their kid?
I’ve been working with middle, high school, and college students for more than 15 years in one capacity or another, working alongside veteran educators & community leaders to try and make a positive impact on the young people in our charge. What I’ve found is quite disheartening. The way many of our kids grow up and go through school leaves them missing so many key skills and attitudes. American society has decided to emphasize high-stakes schooling that rewards perfectionism & short-term memorization and discourages experimentation & meaningful learning. In this effort to push our kids to excel, we’re creating young people that legitimately don’t know how to make decisions for themselves or how to deal with questions that don’t have answers you can look up in the back of a book. And then we wonder why so many kids today are constantly stressed out, don’t want to try new things, and seem to float through life with little direction!
Here’s what I really want to accomplish through my coaching work: giving kids room to explore, experiment, and figure out why they are, helping them develop goals and projects to work toward, and providing a safe space for them to reflect on how things are really going and maybe changing some things up so that they can live their best life. This is exactly what I’ve been doing with my FIRST Robotics kids for the past 12 years, just with fewer robots and more focus on individual students and what their unique skills, values, and interests are.
If I sound like someone who could help get your kid on a better path, let’s start a conversation!