No, it’s not a typo error. It is really spelled as W-R-I-T-E. But before that…
I haven’t been able to blog lately because of some unexpected turn of events (mother-in-law’s passing, home renovation finalizations, moving in chores (which seem endless!), among others), which were happening all at the same time! All these kinda shook up my life (and sanity) just when I was trying to psyche myself up for a brand new 2014! But something took place last Saturday which is worth blogging, and I am talking about I KNOW WRITE, a teen bloggers meetup, organized by three teenage girls, Arielle (our eldest daughter), Jodie Alejaga, and Nina Alvia. The first ever of its kind! Woot! Woot!
I wasn’t really planning on being the “stage mom” kind of mom last Saturday. All I had asked permission from Arielle was to take pictures (which she agreed to last minute!) so I can blog about it. I was even seated at a table outside their reserved function room at Kuppa Roastery & Cafe, to keep my distance. But as I was observing how these newbie teens were handling the nitty-gritty of the event, I felt they somehow needed a standby coach just to help them smoothly go through their activities without having to pay extra for going over their two-hour reservation. Planning for and hosting this meetup was one great opportunity to teach Arielle life skills in a real-life event that they themselves organized.
Even before Saturday came, Mike and I were already giving Arielle our suggestions and advice on how to go about this meetup from the time she told us about the idea (like maybe since October 2013?). We had a series of conversation on this real-life project in the car, at a resto, while having lunch or dinner, or wherever. Discussion had a serious tone to it since we were talking about something that adults normally do in their job or career but at the same time, we made sure we did not miss out the elements of FUN and YOUTH ENERGY.
What exactly did we teach Arielle in planning for and organizing this event? Here’s a list of life skills that gave Arielle a taste of how it is like to think, decide, and act like an adult (a responsible adult, that is)!
1. PLANNING and PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
- Planning ahead
- Having a timetable
- Why having a planner/calendar is essential
- Why having meetings is essential
- Decision-making: learning which areas need decision and action, especially immediate ones
- Having an objective, action plan, and getting down into details of the event (venue, food, activities, invited guest speaker)
2. TIME MANAGEMENT
- Identifying priorities
- Focusing on priorities
- Using time well on the event itself (keeping track of the time!)
3. PEOPLE SKILLS
- How to work with different people (in the team and with everyone they had to deal with as they were organizing and doing the event)
- How to make different personalities work together to achieve a goal
- How to collaborate with the common objective in mind
- Being a team player
4. MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS
- Coming up with a name for the event,
- a logo
- a hashtag
- a souvenir t-shirt
- Creating an Facebook page and group
- Making a sign-up/registration sheet
- How to go about payment
- What token of appreciation to give to the guest speaker
- Doing an evaluation after (what worked and what didn’t; things to consider and improve on in the future)
- A follow-up activity to keep the high energy level of the group after the event
5. FINANCE/COST MANAGEMENT
- How much to charge each participant
- What would/should the fee cover
- Cost analysis and implications
- Looking for possible venue options
- Choosing what would be the best one
- Making reservations (personally talking with people in-charge or on the phone)
- Making a downpayment for the venue
- Choosing the menu (food, drinks, dessert)
- Setting up the venue (e.g., cameras, laptop, decor)
- Preparing other needed materials (such as name tags, ice breaker, and photo op paraphernalia)
- Settling the bill after the event (which they really needed help on to be able to understand the math of having a “consummable” kind of package)
- Being responsible,
- Taking initiative
- Being cooperative
- Being a leader
- Showing good manners and one’s best character that the situation calls for
Whew! That’s a long list of life skills for a two-hour meetup (not a workshop, not a seminar) kind of event!
She gave an inspiring and encouraging talk on how she started out in blogging, shared her ordinary and extraordinary experiences, and gave tips and advice to the young ones on what to do with their blogs. She was simply AWESOME that the girls couldn’t stop taking photos with her and just chatting with her! Arriane is actually the one who gave me a jumpstart in my blogging journey. Arielle and I attended her blogworthy workshop and to this day, she is an inspiration both Arielle and I look up to!
Now that these teen girls have started their own teen blogger community, I give them my big CONGRATULATIONS for being able to successfully pull off this event. It’s a first and there are still lessons to be learned. But hey, did you think that teeners would be able to come up with something like this and organize it on their own?
The objective of the event was met. The girls had fun and went home inspired and all charged up. The big question now is “What’s next?”
I leave it up to these girls. They were able to do this and I believe that they are capable of coming up with another meaningful activity or event. Maybe even bigger and better! As for me, I’m thankful for this opportunity to teach Arielle important life skills that books and hours of staying in the classroom would not have been be able to.
How about you? What real life skills have your children learned lately?