What do our students really need?


  • Lia Alfonso - 5 years ago

    I chose resilience to complete assigned tasks because I find many of my students rely too heavily on only doing what they enjoy or find easy. They have not yet learned the satisfaction that can be garnered from completing something that perhaps is not what they would have picked or that is more challenging than they would like. They will be faced with this time and time again, in school, their jobs, and life in general. I believe that learning they can do hard things and do them well, as well as the need to complete assigned tasks regardless of preference or initial internal motivation is something they should face in school, reflect upon, and hopefully learn from.

  • Elizabeth Oosterheert - 5 years ago

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for sharing the poll! I selected better reading and writing abilities.

    I had a difficult time choosing between that and critical thinking skills, but finally decided that without better reading and writing abilities, it's nearly impossible to teach students how to unpack what they've read, and to truly be literate, confident, critical thinkers.

    However, one could certainly argue that they are of equal importance, and that they complement one another. I think our students need EVERYTHING that you included in your list.

    As a theatre director, I believe that listening and speaking skills are critically important as well! :)

  • Sinead Turner - 5 years ago

    I put critical thinking because I think that's at the core of everything. Yes, they need to read more (MUCH more!), and, yes, they need to write more (MUCH more!), but I think the bigger issue is that they need to spend more time thinking critically and in bigger ways. I think the reading and writing will follow naturally from that as part of the process. My kids are awesome, but I find that they often become paralyzed when I ask them to think originally and critically. They can do something I've asked them to do fairly easily, but for them the biggest issue seems to be in coming up with the ideas and the challenges for themselves. It's part of the consumer mentality that they've grown up with. What they need, in my opinion, is critical thinking skills that help them push past that consumer mindset. In AP, my kids struggled the most with synthesis because they had to go beyond simply reacting to this quote or analyzing someone else's writing and purpose and "writerly moves" and put forth their own ideas that were informed by things they'd read but not necessarily in reaction to those things.

  • Amy Menzel - 5 years ago

    I chose critical thinking because I think it requires the other skills listed. We are only able to think critically through effective reading and writing; we need to hone our listening and speaking skills (listening, especially) in order to think critically. Resilience in completing assigned tasks and problem-solving skills as necessary to critical thinking as ball handling and shooting drills are to Steph Curry's game. And I really think face-to-face interactions are are an essential skill we need to help students develop to create a true sense of academic community necessary to build all of these lifelong skills for success.

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