One topic that elementary school teachers don’t have to contend with is dropouts. Either a child is getting to school or she isn’t. By and large, the same goes for middle school. Elementary and middle school students are not legally allowed to make their own decisions about their schooling. Parents and guardians do that. I don’t even think it’s possible for kids to successfully play hooky anymore in most places.
Meanwhile, in high school, children mature to an age where they can make the decision to drop out of school altogether. According to the College Board, 857 students drop out of high school every single hour, every school day. To help America visualize this alarming figure, the College Board put 857 empty student desks on display on the National Mall yesterday, near the Washington Monument.
I think that the fight against high school dropout rates begins when schooling begins. Every single teacher in a young person’s life is responsible for helping instill the idea that a good education is as critical as kindness is to long-term success in life. In ten years, it would be nice if the College Board put out their desk display again, and we could count the number of desks on one hand.
What do you think? What do you do to instill the value of a good education in your students?