Just an opinion piece-by Natalie Giasullo
In working with some elementary students, parents have commented on their concern for their child’s future. At the risk of sounding counter productive to my company, I say college is not for everyone, and IT’S OK. I have 2 adult children and I can remember how anxiety ridden the whole “going to college” process was. The high school offered several parent work shops throughout the year on what was expected in the college application process. They walked us through the kinds of grades and scores our children needed to get in.
Now I think to myself, “Hey, where were the workshops for parents whose children did not fit that profile?” What about students who can’t see themselves putting in the time to get a degree AND paying back student loans? What about students that need to bypass ” being a kid” because life happened and they have to step up to care for someone with a critical illness or job loss? Why isn’t there more of a presentation on trade schools. College is not the only avenue to independence and stability. If we were to start “googling” famous people that did not go to college, I’m pretty sure we’d find more than just a handful. Truly, my hairdresser is one of the people I most admire. She’s so talented and a great role model to her children. She’s not a millionaire, but she does well for herself. She chose a non college path. She had that “bypass” mentioned earlier.
In fact, why don’t we have more of a curriculum that centers around everyday living: budgeting, credit, interest, etc. to give our kids the tools they need to face how to read a lease agreement, tax responsibilty EVERYDAY LIVING? I have a theory, be warned, it’s a little negative. When I taught in the elementary we had school improvement plans in the beginning of each year. Much of it was based on how students increased their performance on standardized tests. Depending on scores, schools would receive a Grade Rating and get money for the school. It carries on to high school with the percentage of students that go on to college ( which of course links to standardized testing). Because schools generate money with this system, and in return colleges generate money with this system, any other path outlined for students just wouldn’t benefit the schools and colleges monetarily.
I am in no way disparaging college education, but I am concerned with the amount of pressure put on our students to go to college. We hear about kids graduating college and living in their parents’ basements WITH student loans needing repayment. We hear it’s because they can’t find a job, but is it also that they chose to major in something they can’t make a living on , rather than zeroing in on what they really wanted to do? They gave into the college pressure. Or worse, we hear about kids putting in 2 semesters in college, then dropping out- still owing money, still lost.
I think we need to pay attention to these students and have a support system in place. I also think we need to have more trade school training in the twelfth grade so student who choose, for whatever reason, not to take the college route, can find their purpose and make their contributions to our communities.
We need to value and pay our teachers more. Oh and those Art Schools- we definitely need more of those!!
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
I set up my tutoring company to help students who need extra help.
– If your child has a college plan, we would be honored to provide SAT/ACT college prep help.
-If your child is struggling in school, again, we would be honored to sit with your child and help.
-If it looks like your child has no interest in college and needs help with high school classes, we want to help. I think we can all agree, the high school diploma is a necessary step to whatever path may be chosen.
– If you yourself need help with the GED we are happy to sit and work with you. Feel free to browse the website and “Meet the Teachers.”