Recently I had written a post Little Leaders -Choosing a path where I decided that for students to be more involved and responsible for their learning and growth I would allow my students in part to choose their goals that they would individually work on through the year. The joint created IPP would be something that the student is invested in, something that the student can reflect and assess and something that the students can believe in, that the student should have some responsibility in the development and creation of . I believe that for a student to recognize and be able to verbalize what their weaknesses and areas for growth are, not only shows a students understanding of self but also reveals a great element of what is leadership.
On Wednesday, I presented the idea to my students. At first, the response I received from my students was non-verbal. The students looked back at me like deer caught in headlights. However, as I explained to the students what I wanted them to do and why I thought it was important they began to buy into the idea.
I asked the students why they should be involved in making their own goals and why making and achieving goals were important. I received answers such as:
So I can go back and live with my mom.
So that my dad will think I am getting better and might want me back.
So that I can get a foster family.
However the most resounding answer I received and the one I was looking for was – So that I can get better and do better. This statement hit the nail square on the head.
The students all of a sudden were excited and itching to go, why well because they now had some input and control into their education and programming. The students found making behavioral goals easy, but did need some help coming up with educational goals. In the end however, the students had all decided on goals that were accurate, in that they would have been goals that I would have picked for them independently and the goals were also achievable.
Overall, in my opinion this was a great idea and resulted in some great goals. The best part of this entire process however was that the students no feel empowered and responsible for their education and the direction they are going in, in terms of education and behaviors. Thanks again Melissa for the idea.