Are They Ready?

September 3, 2009 by jbrettjacobsen

During the Head of School Address, I proposed four questions to our community to consider as we explore ways to preserve the core, yet stimulate progress at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School:

1.  Are they (Mount Vernon students) ready to learn?  Alvin Tofler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

2.  Are they ready to work?  In the spring of 2006, four participating organizations lead by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, conducted an in-depth study with over 400 corporate employers on the readiness of new entrants into the US workforce.  Among the most important skills cited by employers were professionalism/work ethic, oral and written communications, teamwork/collaboration, critical thinking/problem-solving skills, and creativity.  Is it possible that we are training students for jobs that have not yet been created or even thought of?

3.  Are they ready to fail?  A leading educator said, “Failing grants us vision, a knowledge of how life is lived far deeper than what we find when we merely succeed.  The experience, not the single moment of failing, but the whole process — the strength to risk, the willingness to fall, the courage to try again — becomes a sacred crusade.”

4.  Are they ready to lead?  As our country continues to search for leaders, MVPS wants our students to lead the future with confidence.  According to Ernst Boyer,  “What a monumental mistake it would be if students remained trapped in organizational grooves and the narrow routines to which the academic world sometimes seems excessively devoted.” 

Over the next several years, we all play an extraordinary role in assisting, guiding, and challenging our students as we answer the critical questions of learning, working, failing, and leading.

Are you ready?


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Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Atlanta, GA

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