Saturday, July 01, 2006

Transitions

One of the many issues facing today's high schools is how to overcome years of mismanaging students as they've progressed from elementary school to junior high and then on to high school. I've been thinking a great deal about what gets in the way of a smooth transition between eighth grade and ninth grade. Two questions came to mind. Does the 10-12 school work better than the 9-12, or does it create a new set of problems? And can accountability happen at the middle/junior high level?
This line of questioning then brought me to another line of questions. What do students need to be prepared for high school? The academics should be a given, but what about other skills like intra- and interpersonal? Who is preparing these students to be responsible self managers and self advocates?
I stopped short of putting those lesson plans on the teachers because NCLB doesn't have any language in the bill to address that. We have more important things to focus on. So I suppose that leaves the parents responsible for preparing their student for life in high school. But, who is teaching them what they need to know? Let's be honest with one another, parents are getting old. The average age for a first time mother is around 27 years old. That puts mom in her forties when her little baby enters high school. The average age of a first time father is just over 30, also putting him in his forties when junior reaches high school.
Now, without denegrating the aging parents, the truth is that as one ages, one loses touch with pop culture. And if you try to hard to keep up with it, either your kid makes fun of you, or your neighbor does.
The question then, is, what do parents need to do in order for them to actually help their student succeed in high school?

6 Comments:

At 9:27 AM , Blogger graycie said...

I responded to your question, which I think is an extremely important one, and it seemed that my response constituted an entire post of its own. So . . . I will polish it up a bit and post it on Today's Homework at graycie5198[dot]blogspot[dot]com.

You do post a lot thought-provoking questions -- I almost always wander around for awhile afterward thinking. Thanks for that.

 
At 7:45 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

Thanks Graycie, I'll be sure to check out your thoughts.

 
At 5:09 AM , Blogger Forty_Two said...

Parental Incompetence is a touchy subject.

Just try to convince the teachers union to breath a word of it.

 
At 6:37 AM , Anonymous fred the fish said...

I do not agree that older parents naturally lose touch with their kids because they don't understand pop culture. I think it is too easy to find fault and failings with parents regardless of age (parents too young, parents who drink, parents too old, parents divorced, parents who should divorce). Like Graycie, I responded to your post at http://wordgirl.typepad.com/arewedoinganythingtoday/.

--fredthefish

 
At 9:41 AM , Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Your question about teaching responsibility coincididentally reminded me of a news article I read today. You can find it over at my place, because I don't want to hog your comments section.

But let me just say that you are asking exactly the right question. We have to start encouraging students to develop responsibility in a culture that praises "getting away with" wrongdoing and that maneuvers according to the principle of "plausible deniability."

 
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