In some of our Senior’s classes we have been discussing getting in to college, paying for college and being ready for college. It is a very difficult time for both students and teachers. The majority of the students at my school are lost when it comes to navigating this journey of life after high school. Many of them are not sure about going to University but there is so much pressure that it is the only avenue available. This general push that education has made to convince everyone to go to college has hurt our trade industry and has locked out children coming from homes where higher education is not a priority OR their families do not know how to advocate.
I know, I know, this is where the whole world blames Teaches, again for an issue that is systemic and not within our control. I am already trying to manipulate pressure to complete a trajectory of Common Core lessons that were not created with students like mine in mind. I HAVE to take time to help them gain the academic and soft skill set that is IMPERATIVE to any job or school that is in their future. Teachers are expected to go through and help all of their students apply to college. This is a process that should be predominantly done by families.
In class a few days ago, we put the website for NYC Coalition for Educational Justice on the board. We showed them a map of percentages of NYC city kids that are college ready and the results were shocking and difficult for them to face. We are discussing personal accountability and learning how to take data like this and allow it to fuel their dreams instead of fizzling them. It isn’t easy. My students live in neighborhoods where 0-20% of the students are deemed College ready.
I am not sure how much I can do to change this as I am not their family and they come to me when they are 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. I am doing my best.