A thought about tracking

20 Oct

Most professional athletes spend their whole lives working towards their athletic goal, right? Middle school kids will get up and train before school if it means a leg up against their competition. Young girls training for the Olympics will move away from their families in order to train with the best coaches.
When we track students, we are saying “you are heading for college and success.” They believe it, much like these young athletes. They work for it, because they have a goal and someone (probably many people) who believe in them.
What if we put all students on the college track? What if we told all of our students that they were heading for college (or career, or major league sports)? How motivated would they be?
The principal at my elementary placement believes that all of his students can go to college. He is motivating the teachers to express that belief every day. Will it work? I believe so.

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4 Responses to “A thought about tracking”

  1. for whom the bell rings October 21, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Clear and specific expectations from our students will without a doubt push them further. So much in what we say to students will have an influence for their whole lives, regardless if they remember us or not. Every single day we have to have high expectations of our students, and of ourselves.

  2. RLT October 29, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    This is a very interesting thought. I just witnessed a campaign at a middle school where each teacher’s door was decorated with the colors/mascots of the college they graduated from, in an effort to get kids to realize all of their mentors went to college and to get them excited about going to college. I went to a different middle school last week where a student asked his teacher what it takes to become a teacher, not even realizing that you have to go to college to get your certificate. What would happen if we were a bit more transparent about what going to college allows you to do, AND about the very really possibility and potential for EVERY student to go to college after high school? Good thoughts!

  3. Leann Norton October 29, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    RLT – I think exposure is key. Students need to know that college IS and option. Decorating middle school classrooms colors/mascots is a great idea! Also, creating a feeling of “when you are in college,” rather than “if you go to college.”

    • teacherbecoming2013 October 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      I like that! The power of language is so simple, yet can make such a difference in students’ lives.

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