And we're off! The first week of the (UK) school year...
For me this means my own children navigating their first week back at their tiny, local, village, primary school. And it also means my first mentoring and coaching sessions of the year with a new batch of teenagers and parents.
One of my own kids has been ill all week, so that hasn't been the start any of us were hoping for... The other one has been fine but found it hard to step up for this tricky first week back without the other one :/ So now currently they are BOTH 'resting' at home - for today only!
It's been beautiful to start teaching and mentoring again, after a few months of profoundly restorative reflection and some perspective, over this long summer holiday. I've been really, deeply considering what is truly needed by young people, what is going to serve them even better than last year (which was great!) when I start with new teenagers over this coming month: bright and brilliant young adults who are losing confidence rather than gaining it; struggling for motivation when they could be building serious momentum and worrying about the future in a distant (teenager) or acute (parent) way.
Fundamentally, for me, it comes down to this:
What young adults need right now, and what so many of them struggle with, directly due to our education system (state or private) and the contemporary parenting style and culture, is to be able to self-direct.
Self-direction means empowering children to discover and follow their own unique passions and abilities, to be guided and supported to develop them fully, whatever they are and then explore how they can contribute these, or a skill set close to these, in meaningful lifework that serves them and all of humanity. This process automatically empowers confidence and motivation.
Our youth need, more than anything, to learn how to manage and lead in their own self-educating journeys, in whatever kind of system they are in, and to build up their confidence to make truly beneficial decisions around how they are spending their time.
This is the big jump off that we need to make with how we parent and educate the world's children from here on in.
The future of education, without question in my opinion, is child-lead & self-directed, not any version of the current, subtle or overt, coercion.
Self-direction is THE platform that will not only nourish and nurture our children to be well in themselves, lifelong, and to be able to powerfully contribute to society in their lifework, it will also:
be critical to saving this planet - empowering independent thinkers and problem solvers
enable them to create their own jobs (as many predict they will)
OR make them the most desirable candidates for future employers
So my offer now has become, since this summer, more obviously like an essential 12-week conversion course for parents and teens who can't get out of this coercion model and its inevitable consequences of downward spiralling in the confidence, motivation, purpose and joy of our youth.
And the best vehicle for our spending this time together are Maths & English GCSE preparation. Weird but true!
If this resonates with you, get in touch. As always, all you have to do is go to my website and click on Apply for Sept 2021 to book an open call where we can see if we are a good fit for each other, or not.
Due to the typical seasonal flow of spikes in parents' concerns (and the accompanying panic and inspiration to act), I am fairly certain I will be full for this term by the end of the month, so don't delay!
You are also most welcome to join my awesome, free, private Facebook Group for parents here:
Thanks as always for reading and do let me know if you would like to what chord it struck with you? Also if I can help advise or support you at all with your own challenges just reach out by replying directly to this email, I'd love to connect and hear from you.
Wishing you all all the very best in this first week back at school!