Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year. 11% of the 21st century is now over. That being said, how many of you feel you have a good grasp of 21st century skills like cloud computing, virtual collaboration, or currently maintain a website or blog other than Facebook? Do you check Twitter feeds or read a book from a Kindle? What was the last podcast you listened to? Would you feel comfortable if an employer needed you to use Photoshop, Microsoft Excel or Google Docs on a regular basis? Do you feel prepared to enter college and a workforce with other young people from Germany, Asia, and India? How has Groton done so far preparing you for the last 89%?
Last year was the toughest year to date for me, personally and professionally. After losing teachers like Syracuse, Giroux, Toyama, Varga, etc. - in most cases because the school and Board of Ed. cut them - I have had to reflect deeply about these losses to Groton and about this profession in general and how we need changes in US education. We need changes in public attitude towards education, changes in education law and unions, changes in school leadership and teachers, changes in school-day structure and changes to what politicians think you need to learn in school.
Every student in Groton should have learned last year that they can no longer take education and their teachers for granted. This was my favorite picture from last year in 7th grade... students staying after school in preparation of acting at a Board of Education meeting. It is now time to stand up and demand the changes mentioned above because NOTHING will change if you sit back and let the adults around you try to change things for you.
This year I invite you to "go rogue" with me. Lets change the school and world together and not worry about what others think of us along the way!