Friday, November 30, 2012

What is your student's "Passion?"

What is your student’s “Passion”?  Inside every student is an interest that could develop into a passion that drives them in their post-secondary lives.  At CAM High School we provide student’s many opportunities to explore academic and activity based interests.  A question that needs to be asked is “are they taking advantage of these opportunities, and if not why not?”

How can we get student’s to turn away from their cell phones, TV & computers or is the question how do we reach them through those devices?  How do we teach them to utilize technology beyond entertainment?  Essentially enabling them to harness the power of the devices that range from laptops, to tablets to most students carrying smartphones.

We offer elective courses that introduces students to the world of virtual reality.  Our Project Lead the Way program gears students for a career in engineering.  CAM offers a deep and complete assortment of Math and Science courses.  What these areas all share in common is that they are under enrolled in by the percentage of students eligible to take them, to the actual number of student’s enrolled.

Student’s who are taking or have taken upper level math and science classes breaks down as follows - Seniors: science 63%; math 38%; Juniors: science 28%; math 38%.  Upper level classes included trigonometry, statistics, pre-calc or calculus in math; chemistry, physics and anatomy & physiology in science.  These are important classes for all students looking at two year or four year colleges and junior colleges.  About 20% of the student body is enrolled in a PLTW pre-engineering course.  These courses would be under the umbrella of the acronym “STEM” which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and are being touted by educators and politicians as important job areas.

We have a strong speech program, strong Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, hard-working coaches in athletics, excellent Spanish courses, and a top-notch fine arts program.  In all of these areas are students finding a niche and exploring possibilities beyond the next assignment or next practice?  Are they working on things at home just because, not because it’s required?

Passion is important as studies have shown that it takes 10,000 hours of engagement (not just attendance) with something to “master” that skill or content matter.  It’s obvious that school, practice and rehearsal supervised  by a teacher, coach or sponsor will not get them there..they need to find the drive to want to engage their interest on their own.

We can no longer afford to watch our students wait until they graduate to focus on their interests, as a lot of times those change as we mature.  We need to take advantage of the free opportunities offered at CAM High School and help discover what truly motivates them and what their interests are now.

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