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Ever wonder why so many students show low interest in reading, learning, and education? It is a concern that I have as a mother and educator. I often wonder why this happens and what self-efficacy in education is like for these types of kids.
Wikipedia defines self-efficacy as a personal judgment of “how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations.” In education, we use this term to describe a high or low interest shown by students towards education.
Education, in my opinion, is the most valuable asset that we as parents can leave to our children. I tell my children that education is the one resource that NO one can take away from us. But how can we help children understand that school opens doors and helps us reach goals in our lives? How can we encourage students to continue school beyond secondary school?
Education has no limits
As an immigrant, I can share that it was not easy to complete an Associates’s, a Bachelor’s, and a Master’s degree in a US university while learning English simultaneously. I am proof that it is possible, and with perseverance, we can become professionals.
What motivated me to continue school until I obtained a master’s degree? I recall how I felt the urgency to learn English as a second language when I arrived in the US at the age of 12. I spoke NO English and could not communicate with students and teachers in school. But today I am grateful for my parents, who encouraged me to continue learning and taught me the importance of not giving up in education.
At home, I was told that education was my main responsibility. This is perhaps why I recently decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Educational Doctorate. My passion for education has given me the courage to develop this website in support of education. I am constantly encouraging others around me to keep learning. Also, remember that children learn what they see in us.
Below I share several ways to show our children the importance of self-efficacy in education.
Talk to your kids
Talking may sound simple, but communication is one of the best weapons we have to achieve short- and long-term goals. Talk to your child about the benefits of education. Discuss your own experience as an example if you are a professional discuss how being a professional benefits you and the family. If you have limited education, share how not having an education has impacted your life goals.
Inquire about their current school experience
Ask how the school went each day. Ask open-ended questions that will make them expand. And provide details. When discussing the details of the day, you are showing your child that you are interested in their learning. It also shows them they should pay attention to their school activity.
Offer a Vision
I hear people say that dreaming doesn’t cost anything. It is good to teach kids to dream and imagine then selves as doctors, teachers, technicians, pilots, or television reporters. No matter what your child’s interest is, talk about the possibilities and encourage the idea of becoming what interests them the most in the profession.
Take advantage of everyday experiences. During doctor or school visits, discuss the possibilities of becoming a doctor, nurse, or teacher. Discuss the specific activities related to the profession, such as teaching or caring for patients.
Participate in School events
When kids see that parents are interested in participating in their school events, they internalize that school is important and are encouraged to do well. Most schools offer family learning or fun events to engage families in the school. If you have Facebook or Twitter accounts, follow your child’s school page to see school events offerings.
During school events, kids get to enjoy their school friends. Participation will help build your child’s self-efficacy about education. Check your child’s backpack regularly to stay up to date in event offerings.
Having a routine provides consistency for kids. Your child should have a designated place to do homework and read daily. Routines encourage children to give their best and build self-confidence. School routines create accountability.
Pursue More Education
Getting an education is not only beneficial for children but adults as well. Education opens doors that offer us better jobs, independence, and better payments. If you don’t know English, it’s never too late to learn. When children see us as parents return to school, they will perceive your action as an example of perseverance and improvement.
Research technical courses you can do if you already know English. No matter what you do, the most important thing is to know that when you educate yourself will come improvement for you and your family. These actions and conversations send messages that gradually show the importance of education — encouraging your child to dream and set goals that relate to education.
Self-efficacy is a frame of mind related to a child’s confidence in his or her ability to achieve an educational goal. It contributes to a child’s interest in school and the goals he or she wants to achieve. It is of paramount importance to show children that learning is a day-to-day activity that brings long-term benefits to our lives.