BofEd Candidate Aileen McGuire's Response to Yale Study Query

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Metuchen Matters: A recent Yale study claims that high schoolers are bored, stressed and tired from the contemporary curriculum. How do we ensure in our district that we will be able to engage our students and encourage them in rigorous academic challenge without increasing the amount of stress and anxiety the current system seems to create in their lives?

Aileen McGuire: We can ensure and encourage student engagement through rigorous academic challenge without increasing the amount of stress and anxiety in the current system through the monitoring of specific areas such as guidance, instruction, and extra-curricular activities. 

Guidance for our students with respect to appropriate course selection, placement, and awareness of academic opportunities will motivate our students to challenge themselves and maintain their interest, curiousity, and creativity in most classes. 

Instruction and methodology needs to evolve with the growing appeal of teachers and students to use technology in the classroom.  Professional development for teachers in the areas of technology, differentiation, and use of data, will enable teachers to motivate the 21st century learner through rich, varied, and challenging instruction and assessment.

Extra-curricular activities in our district need to continually reflect the interests, skills, and backgrounds of our students.  A variety of clubs and athletic opportunities should be offered to all students to engage and enrich their academic and social experience in school.

Our school district has been pro-active in implementing a variety of programs designed to empower the learner to actively engage in the learning process and maintain ownership of their learning.  The Advisory program at Edgar Middle School offers the student an opportunity to discuss topics such as study skills, time management, and goal-setting in a small group setting.  At Campbell Elementary School and Edgar Middle School, the teachers have been receiving professional development in connection with the "Growth Mindset" and "Executive Functions" philosophies.  At Metuchen High School, students meet periodically with Guidance counsellors to discuss academic opportunities, extra-currivular activities, and organizational and prioritization skills and strategies.

We must continue to assist students to maximize their learning style and potential, enhance their study and time-management skills, and inspire them to reflect and discover their strengths and interests.  In doing this, we will help them to alleviate the frustrating experiences such as boredom, stress, and fatigue often encountered throughout adolescence. 

 

 

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