As the school year nears its end, I have been thinking quite a bit about how to solidify the personal and academic gains my students have made this year. For students who are now understanding math better and/or have a better attitude about school and about their own abilities, I want to make sure that these positive changes stay in place in the future.
A colleague’s student has been selected to speak at City Year’s big end-of-year gala. This student will speak about how working with her City Year mentor this year has helped her steer herself onto a much better academic path.
In her remarks at this event, she will describe publicly her new perspectives on school and academics. She will discuss her new-found work ethic. She will talk about how her school attendance has improved and how her classroom behavior has improved. She will talk about how much better she is understanding course material.
My guess is that just by articulating these (true) things, she has taken an important step towards injecting all of this stuff into her personal self-image.
It is great that she is on a a better track! More importantly, this speech is really an opportunity for her to convince herself that she is on a better track. Now that she thinks of herself as someone who is good at academics, she can continue to be successful next year and beyond.