Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Taking a Gap Year – Worth Considering?

Just finished reading Susan Greenberg’s post “In Fervent Support of the Gap Year” from January 4th’s Motherlode blog in the New York Times (http://goo.gl/JjaOe6). She speaks to her daughter’s high school experience, and the family’s subsequent decision to agree that a year as a paid au pair would allow said daughter to experience elements of work, travel, and personal growth that would support improved motivation and performance in college the following year. The 4/29/14 Leadership column of Forbes provides some good questions to talk through this option (http://goo.gl/iIiMlu), and although gap year data is still relatively fresh and potentially uncorroborated (http://www.americangap.org/data-benefits.php), it does raise some interesting questions around whether this experience might be an increasingly relevant, useful, and popular trend in the U.S. The Melrose High School Guidance Dept. has posted information on two Gap Year Fairs to be held at the beginning of February in the Greater Boston area (http://melroseschools.com/2014/12/gap-year-fairs/.  As our seniors wrap up their first semester and college letters (both long and short) roll in, maybe it’s an alternative worth considering.