About a month ago, an email landed in my inbox from a very familiar, friendly voice. It was from Andrea Sheehan, an old friend and former colleague. She had found me on Linked In and was wondering what I was up to.
The timing could not have been better. I was on the cusp of leaving my position and was looking for a new opportunity. Andrea went on to tell me about a new company she was forming and the excitement in her voice was as transparent and honest as I’d ever heard.
Andrea is a mom of 4 (I don’t know how she does it). She’s also a former teacher and publishing executive. We worked together just around 10 years ago in my last fulltime working job (man, those 10 years flew by!). Our kids are not that far apart – her oldest is 7, mine is 9. Like me, she’s constantly watching her kids and thinking of them as the graduates of 2020. The future isn’t far, it’s near. She realizes that as a tween, the pressures are building up on all kids like my daughter. Standardized testing is moving in fast and furious and learning isn’t quite as fun as it used to be with these big, looming deadlines.
The next few years are important years for these kids. Their performance and grades are critical indicators or how they will do in high school and college.
Andrea realized that kids lose interest in learning right around this time. They get bored by instructional methods and start to get lazy. As a former teacher, she is able to analyze what’s missing to deliver outcomes and motivate students. She has no intention of working against teachers, but she wants to work WITH teachers to improve what’s going on in the classroom and create innovative mobile apps and eReaders that inspire kids to do and be more than they ever imagined.
Is my daughter in the class of 2020? That is WILD. We can’t wait to inspire kids like her – it must be done now.
This is what Andrea says about giving her own daughter what she needs to flourish:
I can help her prepare for the challenges that lie ahead, both in school and in life.
I can give her the confidence in her ability to make sense of the world, even when I’m not around.
I can equip her with the tools she needs to make informed decisions.
Her mission: To kick-start a generation of confident, capable kids who are going to change the world.
Sounds like a mission I’d join!
So, I did.