Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time to up the Rigor Factor

As I wrap up my first year teaching, I'm pretty clear on what I want (and need) to improve on next year. My classroom management is tightened up, and it's time to focus on rigor.

I just read an article stating what most of us already understand - college students are graduating without real skills. Their ability to think critically, and step right into a high-performance job, simply isn't there.

I know someone who graduated from a very fancy school in NYC; after a year long job search she just landed a job as a part-time assistant, helping the account execs and creatives. She wasn't ready to handle anything more taxing, despite four years at a very costly university.

Four year colleges should be creating account executives, not assistants. The article cited above states wryly, "Student undergraduate cultures will have to change, with students themselves recognizing that they need more from college than a paper diploma and an expanded roster of Facebook friends."

Anyone can critique culture and classrooms from the armchair: I hope the great mentors and staff here at my school hold my feet to the fire ... as I work to keep my pledge and forge a strong chain in this interconnected educational ladder.

Hat's off to the wonderful kids who made my first year so incredibly special. To their futures - I offer a virtual toast.

And, to rigor!

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