Many of us have students who are facing challenges who find difficult to reach, and I am no exception.
I have a long list of strategies that I can pull from, all which have worked at one time or another, as well as failing many more times than they have worked.
But, often times it’s just a matter of throwing a lot of things against the wall to see if anything sticks.
This past month, I have had a little success with having a couple of students complete a sheet I developed that is sort of a combination of previous goal sheets I’ve used (see Best Posts On Students Setting Goals) and a longer-term “visioning” activity I have often used and that I borrowed from Dan Pink (see The Best Resources For Doing A “One-Sentence Project”).
Basically, I have had students complete a form (you can download it here, and I’ll also copy-and-paste it here in this post) – one part everyday. Since one of the challenges these students might have is difficulty focusing, keeping it short and simple has worked well. After they have completed the form, which take a few days, I apply an idea I learned from Edutopia (see I LIKE THE IDEA IN THIS NEW EDUTOPIA VIDEO: “60-SECOND STRATEGY: DAILY INTENTIONS”) where I ask them at the beginning of each class which of the actions they listed on the form as ones they want to focus on that day. We then have a short individual discussion at the end of class.
It seems to have been helping, based on their commentaries and my observations.
Here’s what the two-page form looks like:
My school goal for next year is ___________________________________.
My outside-of-school goal for next year is ____________________________.
Next year, I want my friends to describe me by saying I am _______________
Next year, I want my teachers to describe me by saying I am _____________
Next year, I want my parents/guardians to describe me by saying I am __________________
TEN YEARS FROM NOW
In ten years, I want to ________________________________________.
In ten years, I want my friends to describe me by saying I am
In ten years, I want my parents/guardians to describe me by saying I am
TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW
In twenty years, I want to _______________________________________.
In twenty years, I want my partner/wife/husband to describe me by saying I am
In twenty years, I want my children (if I have them) to describe me by saying I am
Things I can do NOW to help achieve these goals:
When I don’t feel like doing these things, actions I can take to help me get back on track:
When I don’t feel like doing these things, actions my teachers can take to help me get back on track:
I’m not suggesting it’s some brilliant new intervention, but it’s just the latest strategy that may work with these particular students.
And then flop next year.