Young learners today experience lots of competing expectations and excelling in their studies ranks very high on the list. Not only can they feel pressure from themselves but most perceive pressures from parents, teachers and peers. How do we help them flourish and achieve individual resilience through purpose?
We had the pleasure of having Natalie Chan for our May edition of ‘A Conversation with’ together with Head of School, Sian May, moderated by Julia Lartey, Secondary Campus School Counsellor.
Natalie Chan is an engineer, film producer, adventure seeker, entrepreneur, and educator. Her non-linear career journey led her to education when she realised that developing the next generation's purpose is key to solving the world's problems. In 2016, Natalie founded OWN Academy, an educational experience provider that brings real-world learning into the classroom through career samplers developed with industry professionals and global companies. Her brainchild the OWN Degree, the world's first real-world experience degree will be launched soon. Among Natalie's diverse achievements are being selected as a Davos 50 Global Shaper, representing Asian youth to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, as well as being an Ashoka Changemaker x Change fellow in 2019.
Key points from the conversation;
- Give children opportunities to be able to really explore their own purpose as early in their life as possible. If they know what their purpose is early on in life, they will have that competitive edge of knowing themselves and be able to move forward and navigate all changes happening around them.
- If you know you have a purpose and you have meaning, it also provides mental health protective factors which can last a lifetime. A healthy mindset is important to build resilience through the challenges that your child will face as they grow up and become adults pursuing a career.
- Most teenagers question; ‘Why do I need to do this?’, ‘What is this all for?’ This can lead them into a spiral through choosing a tertiary education path and if they still don’t know who they are and what they want to do, this may lead to poor mental health. Finding your purpose does not happen overnight, you need to actually develop your purpose through trial and error in a safe space. It’s about trying new things, assessing your feelings when you do new things and most importantly it's from making mistakes. Your child needs a safe space where they can fall and get up again and again, in order for them to find their own purpose in this world.
- Learning about Character Strengths throughout their primary education and then transitioning into secondary education with Positive Psychology elements introduced as well as being exposed to the ACHIEVE programme, gives that continuity to your child to unlock their self-awareness and enable them to safely experiment and explore their interests. The breadth of the curriculum and ECA programmes help expose your child to different things, and provides a safe space for them to experience through trial and error. They know they are supported as they get to know more about themselves and each other. Sparking courageous exploration is rigorous, it’s hard and it’s not the easy path. Growth sometimes means struggle, but the struggle has meaning.
Natalie also shared her 3 tips to finding and staying on course with your purpose in life;
#1 Courage takes many forms, and when finding your own purpose you need the courage to not try to please everyone around you including your loved ones
#2 You also need passion which actually equals ‘suffering’ in the pursuit to find your life purpose. Passion is not some euphorically happy state of mind, but instead it's about sustaining your interest for a long period of time while going through many ups and downs. It’s about what you are willing to sacrifice
#3 And lastly, investing your precious time into what you really want to do is key in order to develop your life purpose.
Interested in finding out more? Watch the full recording with Natalie Chan below.
Sign up for our new Parent Empowerment Programme!
We have lined up an informative and exploratory programme designed especially for our parent community.
Keeping Children Safe
4th October 2023, Secondary Campus
11th October 2023, Primary Campus
An Introduction to AI
1st November 2023, Secondary Campus
Mobilising Purpose to Positive Impact Workshop by Heriot-Watt University
29th November 2023, Secondary Campus