I talk a lot on the blog about PR and Communications because it’s my job and my passion. But I have a more important job that doesn’t finish at 5pm. I’m a mum. I made a wonderful 5 year old and it’s my responsibility to raise him (yes, I made him, it’s pretty cool).
But the responsibility for educating him is something I handover to the state, partly because I don’t think I’d have the skills to home-school him, but mostly because I don’t have the cash to fund it. So far the integrated school I chose for him has proved itself a good choice. Admittedly we’re only nearing the end of his first year, but it hasn’t been without its struggles for the little person.
He struggles with writing, socialising and anxiety.
He LOVES yoga, gross motor skills with the IFA coach and number games on the interactive white board.
I know what you’re thinking; things have fairly changed in classrooms, right?
The nature of what he’s learning got me thinking about how early years education may or may not prepare small people to grow into big PR people. I often see university and sometimes secondary level curriculums discussed, but with other professional sectors such as IT, lobbying for skills to start even earlier than puberty, perhaps it’s worth us looking into it.
Just last year, public opinion polls emerged in America showing that there was a move towards teaching children “soft skills” in schools. Soft skills include things like creativity, critical thinking, COMMUNICATION and personal wellbeing and resilience.
Although relevant to the PR industry, these skills are normally lobbied for in relation to entrepreneurship and encouraging a future generation of business leaders, solutions providers and, ultimately, ‘economy-growers’.
I personally love to see my own son enjoy a day that takes him outside the confines of the traditional academic curriculum. Because I have yet to use Algebra in my adult life. Whether he spends a day at the farm, a visit from a cancer charity to learn about healthy diets or an afternoon playing the bongos (or other such exotic instrument), I know he’s had fun and expanded his mind.
Of course I wouldn’t want this to totally take the place of the three R’s (I’m not a hippy) but let’s be honest, most of us struggle with handwriting as adults, living as we do on mobile devices with onscreen letters that we just hit with our thumb. However, I had to wait until I was 18 and moving on to University to really think outside the confines of what was traditional. There were jobs outside of teaching, engineering and medicine where a person could be creative. There were subjects that demanded you to think about the world, and yourself, in different ways. To be critical. To explain your thought process because the only right answer was the one you could justify.
And it is all of this that can lead you to get paid to do something you enjoy every day, if you’re that type of person.
So why not give the little people the space to find out if they’re that type of person sooner rather than later?
The school system may be light-years off this but at least the Scout Association are on the ball, with their badge in Media Relations (yes really, check it out!)