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Joe Guzzardi: Want your child to go to college? Enroll them in extracurriculars early

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1 comment:

  • joel naatus posted at 7:37 pm on Sat, Apr 19, 2014.

    joel naatus Posts: 7

    Mr. Guzzardi, I actually agree with you on something. I am a Middle School teacher from Lodi and a large part of my free time is spent making sure students in my school in Jersey City, NJ have extra-curricular activities that will lead to something. We create teams of budding scientists that compete in national science competitions. Over 90 percent are 1st generation immigrants and we often compete against many teams hailing from expensive prep schools will the advantages in life. We have won national competitions and this year we were finalist in the Lexus Eco-Challenge with a small team focusing on re-designing sandbags and last year we were 2nd in the Siemens We Can Change the World, Regional finalist in Ecybermission, and national finalists in the Lexus Eco-Challenge and the year before we won the Disney Planet Challenge. Check out our website to see what teachers can do and are doing. www.projectreservoir.weebly.com and if you scroll down you can see what some of this years teams are doing. What I look at it is as if they are part of a sports team (I look at it like that because you need to create something that gets time devoted to it and brings them some pride), but they are design/environmental/engineering/community engagement teams competing at a national level for STEM related competitions in middle school. Look teachers can and do make a difference, but it also requires the hunger to win and I know my teams make sacrifices that other teams don't and we do well on an even playing field with blind scoring. The student teams I help coach hail from many ethnic backgrounds (Egypt, Phillipines, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Dominican Republic, American, and Puerto Rico, but they are all Americans) and most of my students come from low income family backgrounds, but they are willing to put in the hours and I know this because I see email messages at 3 am. What I really think people need to understand is we need to be able to compete to gain the skills to be productive workers, but more importantly to have citizens who are confident enough to solve problems in their lives, their neighborhoods, and in our world.

     

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