I am always surprised what strikes a chord with people that read my blog. Yesterday I talked about teen-age unemployment and it’s relationship to later employment and school performance. A reader from Illinois wrote:
I am the wife of a retired educator, a former high school principal, and central office assistant superintendent. We are the parents of three children and 8 grandchildren. I am a retired educator myself. I loved what JC had to say.
I think that Illinois has the right idea. Like Illinois, in Oregon there are a lot of work/school arrangements with business along with parallel programs worked out with colleges and community colleges. I love the “no school/no car” law Illinois is working on. And a “requirement” to volunteer has been around a long time and is a great idea.
The point I think a lot of parents and schools miss is the “make it hard and dirty” part. It seems to me they not only need to find out what they want and can do with their live. They also need to know what will happen if they don’t work to get what they want. School is a job…parents and teachers need to treat it that way. I did not pay my children to go to school but I probably should have. I could have helped them make the connection between what they really want to do and what they have done to earn it. They did volunteer and it might have been that the high school required it. I don’t remember. They also all worked. They are all public servants and love their jobs. Thank heaven they have been very successful in their adult lives but it might be that they are that way no thanks to me!!!!
And don’t you think that the volunteer concept has been lost somewhere along the line. Because membership in fraternal organization is so low, people are finding it harder to find meaningful things to do. But why do I think that if we dig deep enough there are job worthy of a teenagers attention. I personally loved “Meals on Wheels” but I am not sure if that program even exists anymore.
As for how employers look at an applicant that has a wonderful education with good marks, maybe students and their counselors should work on how students sell themselves. Maybe they are not putting enough emphasis and value on non paying jobs!
The point of all this is, teenagers need to have job, they need to be required to have a job, whether it pays or not!!!!
Thank you JC for your comment.