Parents are in the driver’s seat when it comes to enhancing academic success of students, according to Keith Bricker, veteran educator and guidance counselor for over 40 years. This parent manual places parent-student relationships at the center of his “competency discovery process,” a series of inquiry-based activities designed to reveal a student’s optimal educational and career pathway.
To bring students to their natural potential, Bricker presents a toolkit, field-tested in schools for 15 years. His book contains a series of questionnaires and worksheets to help students pinpoint their areas of interest and ability, as well as informational chapters for parents on ways to further analyze and guide their children. Once skills are determined, students can then take steps toward career research.
Bicker advises the family to act as Manager and CEO of the exploration process toward academic enhancement and believes children will respond well to intensive parental questioning. He hopes to simultaneously improve counseling efficiency with the idea that students will come to counselors with much of the legwork done.
In this, Bicker is perhaps naive, as teens are apt to be less than open with parents when questioned about their values, interests, and activities; what students share with parents is often different from what they tell teachers or guidance counselors.
In addition, although the main thrust of the interest surveys is on the workplace (rather than college), after completing these inventories, students receive only a very short list of potential career options to consider along with some examples of possible community service. Parents seeking specific job-matches for their students won’t find them here.
By providing extensive, albeit repetitive, lists of areas of interests and competencies to choose from, the book initiates conversation between parents and students. As such, some parents may embrace this practical book and its intent, particularly those with compliant children. There is little guarantee, however, that students will be as forthcoming as their parents — and the author — might wish.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.