The quote of the week came this morning from Nick, a senior student who, as a freshman, walked a sketchy path. He came to my 6th grade class to talk about how he was working to achieve his dream. His goal of becoming a prizefighter served to move him towards success as he turned his life around.
Nick had choices to make- to follow his friends or his dream. As a freshman, he was uninterested in success and apt to cut classes when the opportunity presented itself. His peer group was made up of like-minded teens.
Nick chose his dream over his friends. The results have been visible ever since. He was a member of the varsity basketball team. He’s recognized as a leader in the school, and he is planning to join the Maine Army National Guard after graduation in June. His boxing career is slowly taking shape.
Nick offered students simple advice. He told them not to let anyone derail them from their dream. His best statement? “Hard work is contagious.”
And how! I’m seeing it in the classroom. This week has been a tough one for the kids. This is the week they transfer their ideas for getting to their goals into action steps. They are having a tough time getting specific. They know they need to “do better in school.” They don’t necessarily know how, and still think their dreams are far away.
They key is in focusing on the “action” in “action steps.” They all understand action as something that they DO. I’ve used the collaborative properties of GoogleSites to have them give each other ideas and resources as they think about small steps towards success. All students have access to each person’s dream planner, providing a large network to each student.
I’m pushing them hard and when the light bulb goes off, the energy is palpable. They all of a sudden get excited about what they can do NOW. They are eager to share their ideas with their friends. That’s when the hard work gets contagious and I back up and get out of their way.
Next post: Their projects via Animoto!