Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly Response: Those With No Future

This post is a little late, but it's something I have difficulty thinking about. I came from a home and school environment where college was expected of me. I'm not even sure if I know anyone who ever told me they weren't planning to go to college before we actually graduated. St. Mark's has some ridiculous rate of students who go on to college. I want to say it's somewhere in the range of 96-99%. I have been looking to this future my entire life along with all of my peers around me. To hear in this class that there are so many that simply don't think they will ever go to college for one reason or another, some not even wanting to be in high school any longer than they absolutely have to... Just floors me. I knew kids like that existed, and that there were a lot, sure, but I never realized the scope of this problem and how local it was. Since I began to consider teaching, I always imagined teaching in an environment like St. Mark's, or mostly just St. Mark's itself. These are environments where even if the kids complain that the teachers are too strict or expect too much, that still drives them to college. Even the ones who didn't seem to care at all went to seek a higher education afterwards. Motivating kids who just have no desire to even try is a challenge of teaching that I just never thought about. That's one of the reasons I am so thankful for this class, and one of the reasons that I am excited to continue doing our intervention projects.

Those outside of the class: The "Intervention" projects for this class are papers that are between three and seven pages depending on detail and formatting and the style you write in. They focus on finding a problem in the area of diversity that affects students outside of the classroom and will affect their performance in class. We discuss the problem in the first section, and then set about attacking different aspects of it in our lessons while still teaching the material in the other sections.


  1. Hey I completely just did a post about education as well, you should check it out. But I know what you mean, I have a class where I go into a public elementary school in the area of PG county not far from UMD and to see the variety of situations that were just unheard of in schools that I went to have really made me take a step back. For instance, one of the classes that a teacher has to find a way to teach in is one that consists of all spanish speaking students, most of which don't speak English very well, or it isn't their first language. I can't even imagine what you do when this happens, I always imagined teaching education in an environment, that I realize now is very specific, that is homogeneous and generally the way I grew up. I guess I will be learning how to teach someone who doesn't necessarily have the same lifestyle as me and learn to adapt to this.

  2. John,
    Excellent reflections regarding the class issues. I find it ironic that you did not address students who have no educational future in your intervention, given your stated lack of lived experience dealing with students who have that educational orientation. I had the same experience when I first started teaching. I was stunned when I encountered profoundly gifted students with no future goals beyond community college. I also enjoyed your post about LGBT issues and Catholic Schools. I absolutely agree with you that simply because you do not agree with LGBT people, that that is not an excuse to condone bullying. One would think that as a Christian organization that that would not be an issue. Excellent responses