Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our past or their future??? What are we teaching them?

I rmbr txtng my GF in HS  ... Wait!  No, we were not texting when I was in high school.  We passed notes on pieces of paper, folded in various ways, depending on if we liked or did not like the person.  That was then.  Now we txt, Tweet, fb or ...?

Things sure are different.  It's like, things change.  After visiting a technology firm near Saratoga California with my brother who works there, I wondered what we are doing at school back in our small town in our fly-over state to prepare students for their future.

The young staff at this technology firm seemed driven, ambitious, motivated from within and ready to conquer the world.  Are our students being equipped to face challenges like these?  The last post had that link about SHIFT HAPPENS.  Yes, we are preparing students for a future we know little about and can only speculate on the changes.  But how do we link our present to their future?

Experiences, Relatinships and Reading.  Together, these three components form the basis of a liberal arts education.  Of course, organizing student trips through school groups like the band, choir or activity teams such as cheer leading football or volleyball is a wonderful start.  Students learn to think independently as they gather their own gear, equipment, clothes and accoutrement's necessary for whatever the experience.  These typical day trips are just the beginning.  Overnight experiences where students learn to trust, connect and forming relationships with other travelers also prepare students for a smaller, flatter world.  Caring adults to guide and encourage students extends their reach are invaluable to establishing students broad minds looking for other opportunities.  (See earlier post on Green Eggs and Ham)This physical relocation adds body and substance to history lessons.  Calculations regarding the travel times, rates and costs test computation skills.  Following maps and instructions tests the non-fiction reading comprehension abilities and demonstrates the need to pay attention.  Even seeing the world makes science lessons more personal.  Our curriculum, even the CCSS is meant to prepare them for their future.

A student who reads to learn can take similar journeys inside their imagination.  Again, we see reading as vital.  Fiction, non-fiction and historical fiction all prepare students for their future.

A student connected to caring adults benefits from the shared expereinces and healthy role modeling.

As the opening statements illustrates, things change and often quickly.  Our students need us to prepare them for their future, and not our past.

What is going to be different this year at school?  Content, Discipline, Seating Charts, or Student Centered activities that encourage them to take educational risks???

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