Behind-the-scenes wisdom for parents

This summer, Julia Gooding of One Sky Education interviewed me in order to introduce me to her clients.

We had a much more powerful conversation than I expected! Find it here.

In particular, there’s a lot of valuable but hard-to-find advice here for parents who want to help but don’t want to helicopter, as well as parents of AMC competitors.

(It’s 26 minutes in all, so check the top comment to skip to the part that’s most interesting to you.)

Learning vs education

Today Seth Godin posted:

Education is the hustle for a credential. It exchanges compliance for certification. An institution can educate you.

Learning can’t be done to you. It is a choice and it requires active participation, not simple adherence to metrics.

Learning is the only place to find resilience, possibility and contribution, because learning is a lifelong skill that isn’t domain dependent.

Most of the learning moments in our lives are accidental or random. A situation presents itself and if we’re lucky, we learn something from it.

I agree that learning is where it’s at, which is why we’re introducing a few new offerings in the coming weeks. If you’re on our mailing list, you’ll see those shortly. (And if not, let me know, and I’ll be happy to add you.)

But I also think that if you can rack up an educational credential as part of the learning process, it’s worth going for it. And that’s why we also continue to help students prepare for standardized tests, math competitions, and classwork.

To sum up: It’s great if you join us because you want the STEM grades and the test scores. But once you’re here, it’s the learning that’ll really blow your doors off!

So… let’s get to it.

Dear Wes

We wanted to share some great news. (My son) presented 3 posters at the (large conference) in (major city) last week.  One of his posters on (interesting math topic) got selected as one of the top posters and he was invited to present it formally at the Abstract session.

(My son’s) confidence in math because of you has helped him achieve these amazing milestones.

Believe me, I really would love to take this credit.

But let’s be fair here: this student has gifts you would hardly believe. The entire family is inspirational: hard-working and accomplished, appropriately demanding but also warm and witty. It has been my great privilege to work with them, and with many such families and students.  I hope to continue meeting and helping people like this far into the future.

Even so, I’m going to permit myself to let this note make my month and reinforce the importance of AMC and math competition prep. There tends to be many excellent long term outcomes with this type of preparation.

I really do appreciate the opportunity to do what I do.

As many of you may know, the AMC is right around the corner (Jan 30 2020), and success here can make a huge difference in college admissions for some students. (Here are a few short videos explaining why and how.)

You probably have a math-oriented student or two who could benefit. Please direct them to our AMC welcome site so they can get started. 

If you have any questions about the AMC and how it might help one or more of your students, I’d be delighted to talk with you about it and help you however I can. Just schedule a call with me

Let’s make those dreams come true!