- Teaching in a Pandemic: Help Teachers, Help You - February 2, 2021
- The Importance of Feedback in Distance Learning - October 9, 2020
- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher's View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts - Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
All teachers have college degrees. It is no surprise that we want our students to experience higher education as well. We know the benefits of a college education and want better for them. If I honestly look around my classroom, even my AP classroom, I know statistics tell me that only a third will go to college and succeed with a four-year diploma. Despite those statistics, I still teach as if each one of them will go to college. I teach this way because I want them to know they can go if they really want to. I don’t want them to change their mind in May and not have a chance to succeed because I didn’t give them the skills needed to survive in a college setting.
Common Core standards are designed to prepare all students for college. The standards assume that every student will go, and teachers are meant to help them develop the skills needed to master the standard. We teach them and push them to limits they never thought possible. We show them that college as well as life takes hard work and if you want to succeed, not everything will come easily. Being able to research, compute, and dissect are not just college skills, they are life skills.
Teaching like each one of our kids are going to college will help them in life, not just school. We all can agree that our students need more education after high school whether they go to a four-year college, technical school, or on the job training. Common core teaches them to think for themselves and they can apply all these skill after high school.
Though not all students are college bound, treating them like they are ensures they have confidence in the real world. For example, in many districts around the country, students all take the ACT in their junior year now. The ACT is designed to determined college readiness, but there are also scholarship opportunities for some technical colleges based on ACT scores. If we don’t teach our students like they can score high on the ACT, they may not work as hard on it.
A chance at a college education is obtainable for all our students now. Scholarships are available and student loans make it possible. Life is so much easier with a college degree. We can all rattle off statistics that college graduates make more money, but the truth is not everyone is made for college. But more educational opportunities should be made available to students if they want them. For example, in Louisiana, a jump-start program is being implemented which will give students an opportunity to graduate with a certification in a field of their choice. This is an excellent opportunity for parents and students to look at their opportunities and make informed career decisions. All high schools should consider this for students. Not everyone wants to go to college and a jump-start program gives our students something to begin with. It allows them to go into the real world with a high school diploma with college readiness built-in, and an additional skill giving them more appeal to potential employers. And in a few years, if students decide to go college they will have the background to succeed.
Every student is good at something and school is designed to help them figure out what that is and obtain it. College is what we want for our kids, but if it is not the right choice for them, we cannot put them down for it. Just because a person does not have a four-year diploma, does not mean they are not educated. High school gives our students skills to help them succeed in life, not just a classroom. So teach like they all are going to graduate from college because they all can if they want it.