My earlier blog post, here, describes a fast-paced, performance-oriented school setting in which students become prepared to compete for careers at Google. Students who currently worry about grades and brand-name colleges need to remember that skills, tools, and thinking strategies are also important, according to the author's interviews with Google recruiter Laslo Bock. Well-developed creative and analytical capacities-- which may or may not be signalled by a transcript of good grades-- are requirements for most 21st century jobs.
That being said, as educators we must remember that a professional job at Google is only one of many paths that students can take to live meaningful, productive, and caring lives.
Some contemporary jobs simply don’t require high-level cognition, creativity, or analysis. So how do we make school meaningful for students who may ultimately land in (or, for a period of time land in) one of these jobs?
I believe that students’ own quests and personal interests are an important part of preparing them for Google or elsewhere. As students deepen their care and knowledge of the world, they reinforce important learning patterns that allow them to persevere in challenges, participate as a team member, and contribute to healthy relationships. While some may have their sights set on innovation, others may want to provide a service or experience for others. If all of my students leave high school prepared to invest in an area that matters to them, that’s my value-add.
Friedman, Thomas L. "How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2." The New York Times. 19 Apr. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.