Why Our Students Are Not Prepared for the Future

Why Our Students Are Not Prepared for the Future

Bridger Wenzel, Student Contributor

Every year, millions of students leave their respective high schools and go on to the real world.
Whether that means going to college, or getting a job, they leave their protective nests of teachers babying them into finishing work and parents grounding them over bad grades. In those seniors’ minds, it is total
freedom. However, as they go into their jobs and schools, they are faced with challenges that high school failed to prepare them for. Possibly the largest of these failures is the preparation for deadlines.
Every year, each student is assigned hundreds of assignments to complete as practice work for
their classes. Although some motivated students will do this work, others have the impression
that the future readiness grades aren’t important, as they don’t count toward their cumulative
GPA, therefore choosing not to complete the work. What’s more, aside from a verbal reprimand,
there is zero consequence given to the students for not meeting their teacher’s expectations.
Because of this, many students feel no motivation to change their actions. I have seen this take
place in almost every class I take, but none more than my Advanced Algebra 2 class.
Throughout this year, we have had assignments with lower than a 50 percent turn-in rate, and
just recently, our flipgrid summative assessment had 2 out of the 8 people turn it in. Although
this is tolerated during their schooling years, when these unempowered students move on to the
real world, the leniency of late work acceptance will decrease dramatically.
Whatever job you go into, there will always be deadlines, and many of this generation’s
workers are not ready for them. Whether it is a building plan, an end of the year review, or your
month’s tax bill, all of these need to be turned in on time. Scott Wenzel, who is a technical
leader for a consumer products company, mentors many college students looking for real world
work experience. He says many college kids come into their co-op positions completely and
utterly unprepared for what is expected of them. When he was asked if he approves of the
Neenah High late work acceptance policy, he expressed that he feels that it does not prepare
students for what is needed to make students successful in the workforce. We need to figure out
a way to help our future generation of workers not become like the ones seen today, and the
only way to do that is a change in the grading system. There needs to be an added consequence
for late work. Whether that means a grade is lowered from green to yellow, or a student can’t
retake a target if he/she had any late work, there needs to be a way to motivate people to turn in
their work on time. Our future economy, workforce, and student’s success depend on it.