Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where does world-changing fit into the #CCSS ?

My friend Angela Maiers has been visiting me in New York and came over last week totally jazzed about helping kids in a school she visited change the world during the last couple days of school. For many teachers, however, it is  not clear where world-changing fits within the testing and standards each student is required to meet at every grade level and in every subject. 

Instead, the focus is competition and acquisition, mastery, and assessment of skills as outlined in this video.

Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards from CGCS Video Maker on Vimeo.

Success is focused on individual performance indicators that can be summed up by data, achievement reports, test results, and transcripts, It is not clear where we fit inspiring students to use their passion, skills, talents, and abilities to do the work that Angela describes as W.O.W. (worthy of the world).

When Angela shares what she can bring to schools, many are excited about her ideas, but when challenged to implement the vision, they wonder about meeting standards and how this will students perform well on tests, how will teacher evaluation be affected when observers discover that once they set up the environment for success, many of our best teachers just get out of the way and provide encouragement as needed for the students to do a lot of the work?

How can we make schools places where you don't have to wait until the last few days at the end of the year to make time for world changing? This is the work that excites and motivates students to want to stay and in school. This is the work that let's kids know that they matter and the world needs their contributions.  This is what Angela tells students when she speaks with them. Many are hearing this and having the opportunity to rise to the challenge for the first time. And, rise they will.  Listen to the video this student made after their two-day world-changing opportunity.  

What did Angela do to get these kids so excited that they are making videos from their homes at midnight? Well, one of the things she did was use social media to match these students to real experts from the business world that could help them bring their world-changing work to life.  If we really want to ensure students are career ready, what better way to do that then to connect young people to experts in a field they are passionate about?  

In was just one week ago that Angela spoke to these students.  School is over and they have taken on the charge to spend the summer bringing their projects to life.  They are doing all this on their own time outside of school, but why? What if school was the place that we gave young people the space, opportunity, and support to do world-changing work?  

Think about it. What world changing work can you share that you have supported your students in doing? If we want students to value school and if teachers want to earn more respect in the public and the media, we need to produce and share more examples of the world changing work students are doing in our schools.  Just take a look at the projects these students are embarking upon after just two days of encouragement and support.

Bikes with Benefits (@BikesBenefits)- Supporting emergency medical relief to isolated portions of third world countries. Visit our Facebook page.
Brighter Days (@BrighterDaysOrg)- Raising money, raising awareness, saving lives. Taking suicide prevention to the next level.
Cancer Matters

Lunchbox Notes (@YouMatterLBN)- Lunchbox Notes sets forth on a mission to create a world where smiles are genuine and happiness isn’t rare. A world where thoughts count and actions matter.

Need2Lead (@Need2Lead)- Providing inner city boys and girls, ages 11-15, with a friend and mentor who teaches what leadership truly is.
Valour Organization (@valour_org)- We’re setting out to change the world’s mentality toward mental illness. We are part of @AngelaMaiers #Choose2Matter 

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