By Gregory A. White
Do we value education?
ExxonMobil Oil and Gas Co. thinks we should. In a current TV ad, they say we should invest in teachers as a way of improving America’s educational system.
I agree, in part. We also should invest in parents and students.
Parents and students also can invest in themselves. This grassroots method will produce material results more than a top-down, teacher-only approach.
Part of self and parental investing is goal-setting and preparation. “Be Prepared,” the Boy Scouts of America motto, is based in part on those two principles.
A way to aid parents’ and students’ preparation is to know their aptitudes and strengths.
“Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing, or learning to do, certain kinds of things,” according to the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation website (www.jocrf.org/). Since 1922, they’ve performed aptitude tests.
An online strengths test used by Texas Tech University, Clifton StrengthsFinder™, is another objective assessment. It identifies an individual’s personal strengths that can aid him or her when selecting an academic and career path.
Schools and colleges, as well as local media, could help parents and students by informing them about aptitude and career-related resources.
Middle school timed seminars about study skills can help students and parents prepare for later academic work.
High school and community college seminars about Greek-letter organizations’ entrance requirements can help those interested in co-curricular involvement.
Further high school timed seminars for parents and others can help them develop buying habits that earn a credit score of 700 or better. It would materially benefit not only seminar participants, but the United States economy.