Why High School?

Learning how to learn, powerful partnerships, and tips for parents. Here are 5 resources to jumpstart your week of teaching.

By Carri Schneider

Hello, friends! It’s our final summer reading issue before we return to our regular biweekly wrap-up of fresh resources in August. This week we have the top five stories from XQ’s blog. Don’t miss the “X-tra from XQ” section for information about how you can join our group of writers.

1. Ask: Why high school?

Ever wonder why XQ focuses on high school? “Why High School?,” written by XQ’s CEO and co-founder Russlynn Ali in 2017, answers this question. We all know that high school graduation can be a springboard to a productive and fulfilling life. But this just isn’t the case for far too many students who never make it that far. And even students who graduate often do so without being prepared with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets needed to succeed in the jobs of the future. What’s needed is transformational change. And research confirms high school is not too late. In fact, this type of change is already underway in communities across the country, in XQ schools and beyond.

2. Volunteer: Support high schools in your community.

You care about high schools and high school students, and you want to help. But what can you do? How can you help your local high school in a way that’s truly helpful? The first step is to expand your definition of what it means to help. Read Seven Ways You Can Help Support Students and High Schools in Your Community for ideas about how you can offer your expertise, make high school a part of community revitalization, become a mentor, and more.

3. Consider: Learning how to learn

“Since we cannot know exactly what young people will need to know to thrive, the most important thing may be that their education helps them learn how to learn.” That’s the logic behind the blog, What Do Young People Need to Learn Today To Be Prepared For Tomorrow? So what should young people learn in school alongside academic knowledge and skills? Things like how to pay attention, how to question, and how to learn from failure.

4. Share: Tips for parents

“Growth mindset is an important idea for educators and schools, but it’s also a powerful tool that every parent can use to help their children and adolescents to learn and achieve at high levels.” Teachers might consider sharing the article What Can Parents of Adolescents Do To Help High School Students Gain a Growth Mindsetin back-to-school information with their families. It offers tips for examining beliefs, getting involved, challenging stereotypes, encouraging adolescents, and more.

5. Explore: Powerful partnerships

School-community partnerships expand networks for both students and adults, giving each unprecedented access to one another and helping them to appreciate the value that each brings to the partnership. Through our work with schools on a journey to rethink high school, we’ve picked up some practical strategies for deepening school and community partnerships. From giving students access to experts to getting students on college campuses early and often, you’ll find tips for getting started in Four Practical Steps to Deepen School and Community Connections.

X-tra from XQ

The XQ Team has traveled to 70 cities and connected with more than 50,000 people and 2,000 organizations. We’ve heard and been moved by countless stories of people leading school transformation efforts in their classrooms, schools, and communities. These are stories that need to be told.

That’s why we want you to SHARE YOUR STORIES. In the coming weeks, we’re launching a new blog and we’d love to add your perspective. We’re accepting GUEST BLOGS on a number of topics, including:

  • Perspectives on issues that impact the lives of high school students from inside the classroom to across the globe.
  • Stories about — and by — young people who have a voice in their schools, communities, and society.
  • Educator tips and insights — for and by teachers and leaders — such as ways to improve school culture, implement innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and more.
  • Civic and community engagement examples such as stories about the power of local school boards, successful partnerships, and unlikely education heroes.

If interested, please signup today!