Ravi Hutheesing started our day with a thought provoking message. He shared how important it is to ensure learning has context. Facts, figures, and formulas without context leave kids struggling to connect school to their passions and aspirations. To be frank, Ravi implied, the lack of connection between content and individual students interest is leading many of our students to drop out, both literally and figuratively. Ravi then challenged us to imagine what learning would look like if becoming a airplane pilot was a requirement for earning a high school diploma. After all, pilots have to succeed! We only have to think about Captain Sully Sullenberger's quick actions to bring the “have to succeed” idea home. Flying a plane involves STEM skills, strong literacy skills, a mindset of confidence, and application of employability skills in a high risk environment. For me, the take away from the session is that all learning should be approached as if it were life and death. After all, for many of our students, what happens in their education sets the trajectory for life.
The election season for the AASA presidency this winter will be an especially competitive one.