Online Teacher Resources
4:06 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Generation TX San Antonio Launches Teacher Resource Website

Together with the nation's leading expert on college and career readiness, Generation TX San Antonio and Dr. David Conley launched SA Ready, a website to offer teachers a targeted curriculum to prepare students for college.

"I think it's a way to take all of the content knowledge students have and put it to use and help it get developed in a way that the brain is going to organize so that it can be used for college," said Conley. "I think that's not something we think about very often. A lot of times, we just think about, 'Can they pass a test?'"

Conley's sentiments are echoed by Terry Heim, a Generation TX teacher and a nominee for Texas Teacher of the Year.

Heim is a 7th and 8th grade teacher who said teachers are teaching to a test, and she believes that doesn't give children critical thinking skills.

Heim said programs like SA Ready and Mayor Castro's Pre-K 4 SA initiative - which will be voted on in the November general election - are ways to supplement educational challenges.

Critics have criticised measures like Pre-K 4 SA for a number of reasons.

"We just know with the way technology is changing, I mean we're getting our kids ready for jobs that don't exist right now," said Heim in response.

"I don't think it's ever too early to get kids started. We're in competition for jobs against other countries." - Terry Heim

In his research, Conley said that of 100 middle schoolers nationally, he found 93 aspired to go to college, but only 26 received their degree.

It's a signal to Conley that many students are being lost along the way.

Teachers in Bexar County developed materials that any teacher in the city, across the state or nation, are able to use in their classrooms. 

Heim said it may not pick up immediately because teachers have planned their semesters already, but she's hopeful it will begin to snowball in the future.

Generation TX San Antonio Executive Director Mari Rodriguez is excited about the site as an additional resource for all teachers. 

"It's an open-source resource created by teachers, for teachers," said Rodriguez. "I'm a former teacher myself, so I spent a lot of time looking for good quality lesson plans and resources and you just really couldn't find them. And so we know these are the best lesson plans because they've been edited four times by the nation's expert on college and career readiness."

Rodriguez said 32 percent of jobs require post-secondary education in San Antonio but only 18 percent of students are getting that education.

She and others say it's not too late to do what's needed to give kids the extra edge in their education.

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