I read an article today on USAtoday.com that was sent to me via email by NCTE. The article, entitled “High school rigor? Bring it on, students say,” basically says that students are not opposed to doing harder work. In fact they want it, they are looking for those upper level classes to give them an edge when they get into college.
I found this very refreshing. It does make me wonder if this is true in most schools or if this is a case of bias. I personally have seen this in only a few students that I have dealt with recently. In fact, I had an example today in my Creative Writing class. This class is made up predominently of seniors and is considered a college prep class. Two weeks ago when school started I have 19 students enrolled. With schedule changes and things of that sort, it has been whittled down to 13 this morning. Now I seem to be having quite the exodus because I mentioned that one of their assignments is going to be a 10 page short story. While I can see that as daunting for someone (I remember being in school), this doesn’t mean that they are incapable. What it means is that they will be challenged and that they must be ready to work. A student came to me today and told me that he was dropping the class because he didn’t want to work that hard. While I appreciate his honesty it made me think back to that article and wonder if my now class of 10 were the few who wanted me to “Bring it on?” or if I others exist. If you would like to read this article you can find it here.