As you probably know, Dr. Schlechty and his team of educators have spent numerous hours in Midlothian ISD helping us “work on the work.” Our WOW philosophy of planning meaningful and engaging lessons through specific lesson design qualities gives all students the opportunity to learn to their personal best. Building relationships with learners, providing relevance for the work they do, and increasing rigor to meet ever-changing state and federal standards propels each learner to achieve his or her best results. Rigor is just one part of the whole, but it’s a challenging piece (literally). The actual word, rigor, comes from Middle English (rigour) and Latin (rigor) meaning “to be stiff with harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment.” WHEW! This sounds harsh, huh?! The idea of being unyielding, inflexible, or making life difficult is not what classroom rigor should be (in my opinion, anyway). I see rigor in classrooms every school day—students working at higher levels of thinking, sharing ideas in ways that stretch their personal understanding, and collaborating together to solve problems. Rigor looks different in every educational setting. I always encourage you to talk with your child’s teacher to better understand what rigor looks like during the educational journey this year…and here’s hoping your child never experiences classroom rigor mortis!