Photo by Daniel Harden
I'm working on a book that will absolutely transform education. It will contain valuable perspectives of my journey as an educator, reading coach, and assistant principal. There will be practical action steps that will help mitigate the mindsets of individuals, families, communities, and schools.
Here is another excerpt from the book, The Educational Formula.
Parents, please tattoo this fact in your brain-education starts at home. You give birth to little humans and inherit the hefty task to raise them into productive citizens. It starts with respect and understanding-in terms of what it looks like, feels like, and sounds like. As they grow, engage them in responsible family functions like preparing the shopping list. Teach them how to think critically and empower them with financial literacy so they can be confident as independent learners who make informed decisions. This will facilitate the gradual release of owning their education and future.
Fathers, you are the head of the home who brings structure and stability. Mothers, you help solidify the latter with irreplaceable nurture and child rearing. With unified discipline, you cement the evidence to prove that family is the cornerstone of the community, the backbone of schools, and the educational mecca society needs to thrive.
I remember sitting at a parent teacher conference with a mother and her son. She was furious and frustrated about having to come to the school to address her child’s behavior and academic apathy. She began to blame me, the school, and negative peer influences. Throughout her discourse, mom did not associate responsibility to herself nor her child. I calmly looked into her eyes and uttered, “I’m not responsible for your child’s education. You are the teacher, I’m here to help you.” With a confused look, she became more agitated at my response. I went on to explain to her that, “I have her child for a season, but she has him for a lifetime.” By the end of the conference, I saw the light bulbs turning on in her brain as she began to ask problem solving questions that facilitated a healthier meeting. In reality, after those ten months in the fifth grade, I’ve never laid eyes on that young man again. Today, I can only hope that mom took my advice to heart and owned her child’s education instead of putting it on everyone else.
An educator’s job is to come alongside parents to help them educate their children. In order for that assistance to effectively take place, the scholars have to come to school with foundational skills that can only be learned at home.
Berwick Augustin is the founder of Evoke180, a leading publishing company that also specializes in Haitian-Creole translations. He is an educational consultant and keynote speaker who embodies two decades of experience as a writer, teacher, and assistant principal. Berwick is the author, most recently, of bilingual books, Days, Months, and Seasons in Haitian-Creole, The Haitian-Creole Alphabet-and 1803 The Haitian Flag.