Today’s children face an economy that is far different from the ’50s, ’70s or even ’90s. Multiple career changes, numerous location moves and demands for continuous learning are the mainstay of today’s economy.
The emerging reality is aptly called the startup economy, with small ventures focused on delivering quick services. People in this economy need to work in teams, but fill multiple roles. They need to know how to network and creatively seek opportunities. They must adapt and pivot with the market. Most importantly they need tenacity and good old fashioned grit. These are qualities that mainstream educational models fail to develop.
Thankfully, the Vernon School District has had a leading edge school that is helping to prepare children for the future. The Vernon Community School (VCS) has been running for three years. VCS’s inquiry and strength based education has passed an independent review, and has inspired more than 50 similar projects around B.C. It is a model that has made connections with the school of engineering and the trades apprentice program at Okanagan College.
I am proud to be part of a community that supports innovation. While some may still prefer the traditional educational model, it is wonderful that our school district is giving families options for educational models.
My 13-year-old son is thriving in this new model, and maturing in ways that have been delightful. He is becoming confident in his capacity to learn and has an openness to future possibilities that is inspiring. VCS has fostered his critical thinking, emotional maturity, and taking up the responsibility for his own learning.
Along with many of the other students, he is approaching his future with confidence. For that, I am thankful.