It was one of the last days of the school year and Alex, one of our seniors, said it: “I just can’t wait to graduate high school, go to college and finally work on what I want to be in life.” He was so excited. As he talked to his friends it became apparent that he viewed high school graduation as the end of learning the things he was told to know, the end of jumping through pointless hoops, and college was where he could take control and do the things he felt relevant.
While I was happy for him and the rest of the graduates, I felt like a failure. Why can’t we have a school where kids can work on their passions? Where kids know the connections between their courses and the rest of their lives? Sure the state dictates what courses students need to take. But there is really no reason school can’t be a place where kids are preparing for their future, the future they see for themselves.
It has been done before, we have examples of how to do it. There are schools where kids are excited to go to school, where kids are in control of there learning, and it works. It is hard to break the paradigm, but it is not impossible- it’s just difficult. We have the chance for a new beginning with the transition to CCSS. So lets make it so. This year.