professornana (professornana) wrote,

What DOES it mean?

I loved the post from John Warner about what it means to be "college and career ready."

I have talked about this here before, the fact that being ready for college means something a bit different to me since I have spent the last quarter of a century working at the university. While skills and knowledge are useful, they are not sufficient. At the university we talk about dispositions. It is edu-speak to be sure, but the term does serve to indicate what students need to be successful. Warner talks about CURIOSITY, SELF-REGULATION, PASSION, EMPATHY, and SKEPTICISM. These are qualities I certainly want in the folks who are seeking to become school librarians.

If they do not have EMPATHY, they cannot work effectively with kids. Sympathy is not enough. A good educator (and school librarians are part of this group) need to be able to tap into the inner child, tween, teen. They need not be dismissive of the thoughts and feelings of kids. EMPATHY also serves well when we are models for our kids (no matter the age). I talk about abandoning books, about being affected by story, etc. I am hoping to develop an empathetic bond with students.

PASSION, I think, comes next. I want students who care passionately about kids and about books and about reading. I know being a librarian goes beyond this, but it is foundational for me.

I want them to go beyond CURIOSITY and be OPEN-MINDED. There are books that confront us as readers, books that fly into the face of our own beliefs. We have to be OPEN-MINDED enough to embrace those books as well as the ones that fit into our comfort zone. Note: books that are challenged are often the ones that disrupt our nice, neat comfort zones. CURIOSITY is also good, though, because, it can be what compels and impels students to go beyond the assigned. Each semester, I have students "complain" that now they have to read the other books in the Chaos Walking series or read the sequel to PERSEPOLIS. Darn!

SELF-REGULATION is probably what I call SELF-DIRECTED. Students need to take the syllabus and get prepared for what is to come. They need to explore the course online and plan, plan, plan.

SKEPTICISM is not a bad thing, either. I make some rather dogmatic statements. I am pleased if they are challenged, and we have a discussion.

Imagine if the CCSS standards were these and not a set of discrete skills. How might classrooms be different? How might teacher regain autonomy? How might students be better prepared for what is to come?
Tags: ccss, college ready, standards
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