gua: Make a statement toward child's education

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.

In every organization I have been associated with, there is a mission statement.

A mission statement is a covenant to provide or perform a task. For the Alachua County school district, the mission statement is, "We are committed to the success of every student." In its simplest terms, a mission statement identifies the intended goals and objectives to be achieved.

Mission statements are very similar to vision statements. Vision statements tend to lean toward desired future. Some statements are lengthy, outlining a lot of details, while others are short and very broad.

A vision statement usually encapsulates planning, strategies and direction taken to accomplish one's goals. Highly successful parents who are raising their children in an educational goal-driven home are usually engaged in this process. They tend to constantly engage themselves in a perpetual motion of guidance and giving direction to meet the intended goals set in the mission statement.

Parents who have a foresight of life beyond what their children can see understand some of the hardships that occur in one's life and usually make good attempts at directing their children on a path to avoid struggle. These instructions are often seen as vision statements. Parents who insist on their children doing well in school know the value of a well-rounded education. They know that a good education will open doors and will broaden opportunities.

It is my belief that every home should have both a mission statement and a vision statement for their children to follow. It should not be a surprise to any child growing up in an American family to not understand family expectations.

When these expectations are expressed, children are less likely to disappoint the family. It is recommended that parents create their own mission statement and assist their children in developing a vision statement.

A vision statement is your ticket to success. It provides daily inspiration as a reminder of what direction you desire your life to go. The vision statement further serves as a journey to your destination. It is a guide or a route for one to travel. It also is a promise to the student to be committed to a goal.

Believe me, this process can be fun, but the benefits also can be tremendously rewarding.

Setting goals is not a novel concept or idea. We all have been engaged in this process since we were able to reason and explore career paths; however, the difference today is that we have transformed the definition in written strategies called vision statements for the purpose of charting our progress.

Every parent desires the best for their children and wants them to be successful throughout their school career and into adulthood. The problem occurs when parents are faced with a journey without a good plan. Plans should include visits to the school, a review of all correspondence from school, providing a wholesome environment for children to study, providing an appropriate diet for children, demonstrating strong family values and staying committed to a mission statement that governs the home.

Now that the FCAT is over, and spring is upon us, it would be wise for every parent to talk about each child's future and discuss directions the family should take to meet everyone's goal. I know this may not seem possible in your household if this is a brand new idea, but I assure you the outcome will be invaluable and satisfying.

It is best to invest early as much time and energy into your children's futures while they are young, rather than when they are too set in their ways to change poor habits. Many parents who struggle with their children doing high school and beyond find themselves regretting not embracing a vision statement or plan early in their child's life. It is imperative that parents produce a plan for themselves and help their children develop a vision statement in elementary school and update the vision statement each year to meet the needs of the child. This way, steps can be taken to address concerns early in the child's life.

A great vision statement will determine the outcome of child's performance.

Philoron Wright is assistant to the superintendent of community and schools for Alachua County Public Schools.

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