Want to make the world a better place? It's our children who are going to shape our future and, next to parenting, providing these children with the best possible education will create a sustainable future for our economy and our country.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Increase teacher salaries significantly across the board and provide them with the resources and support they need. This will also provide motivation to attract the best people to the education industry.
- Make continuing education mandatory for teachers. If a teacher isn't ready to keep up with a changing world, actively embrace new innovative techniques for teaching and have the power to implement what they learn, should they really be teaching our adults of tomorrow?
- Find qualified high performing school principles who know how to motivate teachers and kids, give them the respect they deserve and who have the power to get rid of under performing teachers who really aren't interested in anything but collecting their paycheck. Turn this into a competitive industry where only the best, the brightest and most effective leaders are considered for this critical role. A good principal can make a world of a the difference for the teachers, the students and relationships with parents. A good strong leader with a clear vision can bring out the best in people, whether it is in business or in schools.
- Help students become good people first. Help them embrace who they are, foster their curiosity and build up their self-confidence and self-esteem. Teach them basic learning skill that will carry them forward throughout their education and into their professional years. The days of learning a skill in school and expecting it to carry you through to your retirement are over. In many families today, at least one whole generation has gone without learning basic life skills. We need to bring these back into the schools and teach students how to become more responsible parents in the future.
- Make higher education available to the best and brightest, regardless of their financial status. It is not a sustainable plan for students to graduate with a huge debt in order to get a good education. Every day there are Einsteins, da Vincis who will never get an opportunity to contribute in this world to their full potential because they simply can't afford it. Sickness, disease, poverty and even war could potentially wiped out in a generation but adults first need to see the value in contributing to a sustainable future through education.
Countries around the world are embracing new approaches to education and are not only starting to prosper in a global competitive economy but also seeing responsible citizenship and significant reduction in crime. The education system that produced factory workers is obsolete.
We MUST embrace innovation and creativity, and it all starts with educating our future.