“Relevance makes rigor possible.” Bill Daggett
One of the many balancing acts teachers must perform is maintaining the balance between these three elements.
I cannot abide the comments, ‘Kids are lazy’ or ‘Kids aren’t curious.’ Ridiculous!! You cannot lower the bar and expect people to rise to the occasion.
Students have to be given the opportunity to power up when they enter the classroom not power down. Their world is full of far more stimulation than ours ever was. Why do some educators continue to struggle to fight this reality by demanding that the students slow down and focus on the dry sage-on-the-stage delivery of content? Don’t aim at what students already know or can do.
Rigor is about challenging students in both content and in process. In preparation, I believe that teachers need to develop strong questioning techniques.
Providing relevance requires that you know your students and what matters to them. This is where relationships come in. Defaulting to ‘you have to learn it the way I learned it‘ is not acceptable! It’s hard work to make things relevant for our students. No one ever suggested it’s not. It is, however, the work of a teacher. No one can deny just how much the world has changed in the past 20 years. Young people are, in fact, different than the previous generation. So, if the world has changed and the students have changed, what needs to change to ensure that the classroom experience is relevant for students and communities today??