"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Words a Lover of Education with a Capital E Longs to Hear From Their Child: "I can't wait to go back to school, mom!"

It took fourteen years, graduating from Evansville and a year at University, but I finally heard these words from my child. She has always loved learning. The opportunities she had to pursue the kind of education she thirsted for were far too rare. Many of them came only after I became the pushy parent. The only year she loved here was her Junior year when she was able to take five classes in her passion. She thrived and lived for those classes. She went back to the high school this spring and visited the classes pertinent to her English major. Mr. Cobb asked her to tell his students which of her classes were most important to her success at University. Two classes were critical, she said. The first was Advanced Literature Seminar and the second was the one where they learn how to write research papers. The research paper class was pertinent to all of her classes first semester, in which she wrote upwards of 25 papers. Students groaned in chorus when she told them this. The truth hurts. And this was critical in all her courses, not just the English classes.

Most disturbing is that the Advanced Lit Sem class isn't being offered next year due to lack of enrollment (11). I wonder how many of these kids are Seniors? Maybe these administrators should go out and survey their successful college students to find out which classes they found critical to their college career before they decide which ones go on the chopping block. She was indignant to discover this sad state of affairs at her old stomping ground. She said that Mr. Hartje ran that class just like a college discussion class. You read the assigned text, come in the next day and debated the merits of the topic for 90 minutes. She felt like she was the only freshman in her First-Year Interest Group (FIG) prepared to take advantage of this. All because of Mr. Hartje. Again, this is a skill well suited to all college classes. She is also convinced that only Mr. Hartje was capable of providing the proper environment to successfully pull off this class. While I agreed that Mr. Hartje was a great teacher, I said any capable teacher who had guided the class through all of its high school English classes should be able to do this well.

I'm sure our kid is also anxious to get back to the many amenities that exist in Madison that are absent from Evansville (all of them). But I believe her love of learning has finally been properly sated and I am so joyful for her. She knows she can play with the big leagues now and that's the most important thing of all.

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