Friday, September 20, 2013

The Future Really is Bright

How many times have you heard one of the following statements.
Kids these days don't have a work ethic.
These kids are lazy.  They will never make it in the real world.
These kids don't know what a hard days work is.
If these are the future leaders of our country, we're in trouble.
As an educator, I have heard each of these statements often in reference to our students.  However, I would like to assure everyone that the future is far from bleak.  In fact, when I look at what many of the young adults in our school system are accomplishing, I would argue that the future has never been more promising.

I would challenge anyone who believes our students are lazy to shadow some of them for just one week.  We currently have almost 300 students participating in various extra- and co-curricular activities at CCHS.   Many of these students are arriving at school at 5:45 a.m. for an athletic practice and not leaving school until 9:00 p.m. or later due their various other extra- and co-curricular commitments (i.e. band, chorus, madrigals, theater, etc.).  Then they are going home and completing at least an hour or more of homework.  These students are putting in 15 to 16 hour days five days per week, and then they usually have either an extra- or co-curricular practice over the weekend, as well as more homework to complete.  Many of them are routinely putting in 80 hour weeks between school and school-related activities.  If these students were working adults, they would be earning quite a hefty sum in overtime pay!  Instead, they are learning valuable lessons in time management, organization, dedication towards a cause, and a work ethic that will serve them well as future leaders. 

I also am amazed at what many of these students are accomplishing in the classroom.  Under the careful and caring guidance of their teachers, they are learning how to thrive in the global economy of the 21st Century.  They are learning to harness the power of technology to create, collaborate, communicate and critically think.  Instead of just being able to recall information, they are becoming problem solvers.  They are becoming adept at working with others to collaboratively solve real world problems.  These are the types of thinkers that will be necessary for our economy to thrive in this new paradigm of the 21st Century marketplace.

I can remember conversations I used to have with my father when I was younger.  He would tell me that when he was a teenager, his dad (my grandfather) used to tell him, "Kids nowadays are spoiled and they don't have any work ethic."  Well, here we are two generations later, and we adults are still saying the same thing about this generation of kids.  However, when I look at our young adults in District #1, I am not only proud, but excited about the future leaders we are getting ready to unleash upon our community.  I know these students will achieve some amazing things!

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