We're working towards that goal every day.
If you've been on social media over the past month, I bet your news feed was filled with pictures of children across the country returning to school. Eager smiles, children holding Pinterest-worthy signs (or in the case of my kids, a hastily made sign made using torn construction paper and a partially dried out marker), grade level statistics, teacher names, goals and dreams declared. (For the record, one of my children wants to be an Engineer, the other a Unicorn Rider.)
I love this time of year. I love seeing the children of my friends and family grow. And don’t get me started on the memories feature where I can look back on my own children’s first days of school… where is that nonexistent pause button when a mom needs one? (Also, note to self: my kid’s signs never get better!)
What we do not see nor capture is what happens when those kids get to school. Do the eager smiles fade? Do nerves and anxiety take over? What faces do the teachers see staring at them? How do the students’ faces change from the first day of school to two weeks in, or three months in? How about the teachers? What about those of us behind the camera? What goals, anxiety, dreams and fears are we harboring as our children start the next chapter of their educational journey?
I am a firm believer in allowing my kids to struggle a bit, and I hope they do in the classroom. I hope they have to work to understand—really understand—the material being taught. I hope, more than anything, that they do not believe that being “smart” is an innate gift that some children have and others do not. I hope they realize that just because one lesson comes easy to them, it is perfectly fine if the next one does not. It is not a reflection on their intelligence; It is just a challenge they have not mastered yet. I want them to know that is where the fun is. And that is where the magic happens, for the student and the teacher.
It is because of these dreams for my children’s educational experience that I first connected with Carnegie Learning as a parent. The driving force in our organization is a deep belief that all people are math people. All people can do math, and math is a fundamental part of our lives. We need to recognize how the math classroom can model everyday real-life (teaching our kids communication skills, the value of productive struggle, and how to find multiple ways to solve a problem) and that teaching math the right way is critical in preparing our students to succeed. Carnegie Learning’s approach to math education is what I want for my kids.
Education is not a spectator sport. We need to encourage our children to actively engage and participate in their education. (And parents, that’s where our job should end. We should not be doing the work for them!) We need to celebrate their mistakes and inspire them to grow and learn each day. We need to push our kids to verbalize and explain why they reached their answer—right or wrong. They need to be able to collaborate with peers, teach one another and communicate effectively when there is a disagreement. We need to foster these skills so that our kids can become the next generation of great thinkers. We also need to make sure they are supported as individuals so they can grow in their knowledge and make the important gains that will lead to bigger and better things.
Carnegie Learning is a different type of company. We want all students to know that they are math people. We want them to gain confidence in their life skills within the math classroom so they can transfer them to the real world. We want to partner with teachers and students and change the way math is perceived. Everything that our team creates and designs is intentional, with the goal of inspiring students. My kids. Your kids. All the students holding their signs on the first day of school.
Cristin has been working in the learning industry for 17 years. She lives with her husband and two children north of Boston and is the New England Account Executive for Carnegie Learning. She loves sharing the LONG + LIVE + LEARNING mindset with schools and communities in the six incredible states that she covers.Explore more related to this author
We need to push our kids to verbalize and explain why they reached their answer—right or wrong. They need to be able to collaborate with peers, teach one another and communicate effectively when there is a disagreement. We need to foster these skills so that our kids can become the next generation of great thinkers.
Cristin Delaney, Account Executive, Carnegie Learning