Monday, September 9, 2013

The Case for Raising Expectations

There is no denying that the odds are stacked against adult learners successfully 'going back to school' while juggling life's challenges and earning the credentials they need to open doors and begin a transformed and/or more lucrative life.

The teachers in adult ed are mostly part-time and so under-resourced that it's no wonder they can't retain students and dread a new computer-based test like the sky is falling.   

What a star-crossed pair!  Has there ever been a match-up of two underdogs with the only hope being that they can help one another to achieve an unlikely goal?  Their profile and position is defined by their limitations, and yet, those narrow parameters can help to focus their/our efforts.  There is actually much cause for optimism.

The job in adult education is to thread the needle.  Hustling is the name of the game.  Despite the circumstances, the best bet is to double-down.  Ask for more from each learner and teacher.

This is a very simple equation of integers here. A negative times a negative equals a positive. 
Two underdogs together equals an even more potent Cinderella story. Be your own Prince Charming  Teachers, throw the hail mary pass and see what happens. 

Specifically, how do we raise expectations? 
  • Learners: put in more time studying in between classes. 
  • Teachers: play cheerleader and guide on the side, 24/7 
  • Learners: try new things, all of them - one of your options is going to pay off 
  • Teachers: dig up everything you can find on the content and the evolving ways to teach it and then model the versatility you demand of your students 
 (what would you add here? leave a comment!)

1 comment:

  1. Teachers: Keep course materials relevant, which focus on current and upcoming needs/issues/requirements, etc. in the field of adult education. Set aside "dated" textbooks. Keep the course syllabus current to adult education, learning, and human resource development.


Your comment will help build a community of practice (and everybody will love you for it).