Discipline: Professional Resources

Copyright: 2013

Grade(s): 6 - 12

Delivery Method: Print

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Stevi Quate, John McDermott

The Just-Right Challenge

"We can and must create classrooms filled with pressing, transformative, and authentic work. We have to provide access to all learners.This has to happen now."
—Stevi Quate and John McDermott

If you don’t care about disengagement and the dropout problem, this isn’t the book for you. But if, like coauthors Stevi Quate and John McDermott, the disillusionment and disappearance of student after student tears you up, then find out what you can do with The Just-Right Challenge.

Challenge is supposed to motivate learners to grow. But imagine if school was like playing a game without knowing the rules. The unwitting mistakes. The frustration. The building hatred. Or a game so boring and divorced from your real interests that you dreaded showing up for it. That’s why The Just-Right Challenge is so important.

In an era when the Common Core standards call for increased rigor, how do we challenge students—especially reluctant students—appropriately? Stevi and John present 9 strategies and the experiences of teachers across content areas to help you:

  • create a can-do classroom, where expectations—and support—are high
  • help students embrace challenge with work that is authentic and transformative
  • provide every student with access to challenges just beyond their skill level.

As teachers, we are powerless over many of the factors that lead kids to disengage or drop out. But there are things we can do. Not radical things—shifts in our practice that yield tremendous results. With The Just-Right Challenge, we can do our part to make our classes must-attends and every kid a stay-in. Because we do care.