Don’t Drop Out.

My heart about broke yesterday when I heard the number of freshmen saying they can’t wait till this summer. No, they weren’t going for a summer outing or camp experience.  They were turning 16 and  want to drop out of high school.

I listened to them give the dozens of reasons to drop out. “It’s too hard.” “I’m gonna fail anyway.” “My parents never finished, why me?” “It’s too hard” “I’ll just go get a job” “It’s too hard.” “A GED is just as good and it’s not as hard.” “I get too distracted in school.”   Oh, did I mention what I heard the most? “It’s too hard.”

I tried to reason with them to stick it out.  Anything worth doing takes effort.  I used the example of the new video game that came out.  I said “It is hard to get past the first few levels, but once you get the hang of the game, the rest of the levels are pretty simple to do.”  I was told “I just use the cheats to beat the game.”  CHEATS?  Is everything about using the cheats?

I am starting to realize we have a generation of students that, as a majority, do not understand how to persist.  Many of my students use ‘hacked’ apps, ‘cheats’ on games and in the class, look to the minimum to get by.  “Mr. Case, is there an easier way to do this?” is a question I get often and did not realize the impact on their whole philosophy.

If any of my students are reading this, please understand, LIFE DOES NOT HAVE CHEATS!  Anything worth having, takes effort.  Yea, you can drop out, MAYBE get a minimum wage job, get some government subsidy existence, but you are missing out.  Put forth some effort.  The football coach perhaps said it best: “The GAIN is worth the PAIN.”

Yea kids, I may be a pain in your backside, but the GAIN you will get in life is worth it.

Don't Drop Out

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Drop Out.

  1. Remember the great truth is that NC has one of the highest drop out rates in the country. Principals are asked to deal with that issue but the reality is it still comes down to testing and while they may say I will deal with the drop out rates it is those students who bring their scores down. The irony is if and when the national standards come in they are driven by projects, hands on science, and inquiry and it should turn these students on to science. Check out the website and tap into the summer research projects.

  2. Hi Mark!

    After reading this post I feel compelled to tell you a little something about my work history. If you feel this info will be useful to your students please feel free to pass it along:

    I went to NCSU on an ROTC scholarship and there was a time in my junior year when things did not look good for me academically. A fellow cadet named Richard and I decided to surrender our scholarships, enlist in the Air Force (we would be E3 because of our time in ROTC) and become drill instructors. To graduate would just be ‘too hard’

    A mutual friend and fellow cadet named Debbie found out about our plans and sought us out. Once Debbie got Richard and I alone she made it very clear that if we intended to go on with our plan of quitting college, she would personally pound our heads together until some sense crept in. Richard and I were both over 6 feet tall and muscular. Debbie was a 5′ 5″ redhead. We feared for our lives. We also changed our minds about dropping out.

    I managed to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering and although it was not in God’s plan for me to make much use of that degree as an engineer, It has paid many dividends. In my career as an IT tech I have worked at a great many locations on many different projects and at almost every single job I would eventually have a private conversation with the person who hired me. Every single one said that a major factor in selecting me over other techs was my college degree. They all said that it showed two things: ability to problem-solve and the fact that I finish what I start.

    As I’m sure you have told your students, quitting can become a habit. Like many bad habits it is difficult to break and causes a downward spiral in your life. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to encourage your students to accomplish the goal of graduation.

    Thanks!
    James

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