Are teachers aware of their students' outside interests? Nearly 92 percent of Northwest (Texas) School District teachers think so. Only 28 percent of students agree, according to a survey both groups took last fall. The same survey shows that nearly 90 percent of teachers say students can apply their class work to the outside world. Only 47 percent of students agree.
So what?you may ask. Students are in class to learn, not be friends with their teachers, and haven't kids always complained that their classwork isn't relevant?
That's precisely the point, say Northwest officials and the nonprofit that produced the surveys.
Rigor -- challenging students to reach the highest standards -- may be the new R educators are aiming for. But they won't get there without the other 2 R's -- relevance and relationships, according to Successful Practices Network, which designed the "We Teach" and "We Learn" surveys taken by 6,851 secondary school students and 556 teachers nationwide last fall.