February 20, 2012
Do you have a Twitter account? I recently set up an account, and I follow a few folks who like to pontificate related to educational issues.
Through Twitter, I’ve been lead to a slew of articles about teachers, the learning/achievement gap, charter schools, vouchers and the idea that schools must be ‘reformed.’ Truth be told, schools are teaching more students at higher levels today than ever before, curricular standards are more rigorous and more closely aligned, required courses are more substantive, state assessments are more comprehensive, accountability standards are at all-time highs, education is more inclusive and the drop-out rate has fallen dramatically. I’m not sure what more reformation might do for schools.
Perhaps the problem is schools have not changed at the pace of society. When you consider that technology is more mobile than it’s ever been, devices are more compact than they’ve ever been, and information is as accessible as it’s ever been, it’s easy to see why classrooms are playing catch-up. In my mind, some of the hardest work educators have to do these days is designing lessons and units that will interest students. A teacher standing up in front of class lecturing from the book just won’t cut it. Students, educators, parents, society and common sense tell us that schools must be places that prepare students for a world rich with information and poor with solutions. Schools must teach students the skills necessary to be well-rounded individuals, and students must be taught to be determined and thoughtful risk-takers that are not afraid to tackle the problems of our world. Let’s face it; our world needs skilled workers that rely heavily on collaboration, technology and creativity.
Budgets are shrinking. Expectations are high. Society is diverse. The work we have to do as educators is as challenging as it’s ever been. Yet, even with the challenges ahead of us, I am confident that we can get the work done. Be reminded that CSISD is not driven by The Test. We are driven by a belief that our job is to challenge students, engage students and provide a relevant education for them. Certainly, I hope our students are prepared for The Test; however, more importantly, I hope that our students are ready for life and its challenges. Prepare much. Teach hard. Be creative. And, let’s keep our eye on the ball: success for each of our students so that they can conquer their world someday.
Thanks for your hard work, dedication and commitment to CSISD.