Thursday, September 10, 2009

Presidents Promoting Aspirations

Tuesday, in his speech to America's students, President Barack Obama said, "I am calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education - and to do everything you can to meet them."  He echoed his predecessor, George H. W. Bush, when the forty-first president said to students, "I'm asking you to put two and two together: Make the connection between the homework you do tonight, the test you take tomorrow, and where you'll be 5, 15, even 50 years from now. You see, the real world doesn't begin somewhere else, some time way down there in the distant future. The real world starts right here. What you do here will have consequences for your whole lives."

At QISA we define Aspirations as "the ability to dream and set goals for the future while being inspired in the present to reach those dreams."  We must teach our children and young people that their present actions influence their future and that setting a goal, having a dream, can be a powerful motivating force right now.  In a National My Voice study, students with aspirations were over ten times more likely to put forth their best effort in school than students who admitted to not having aspirations.  Whether you are data-driven or president prompted, fostering a young person's aspirations is a key to their success in school and life.

What are your students' goals and dreams?  How are you inspiring them in the present to reach them?

(To learn more about how these two elements--present and future--combine to influence students' aspirations, check out QISA's Aspirations Profile.)

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