As I started back to work for the new school year, one of my first opportunities was to talk to teachers about the Creating Pathways to Success Policy that will be rolled out into our schools at the K-6 level this year. I’ve been a fan of our board’s Pathways program for years. As a guidance counselor with personal interest in self help, I believe that it is important for people to actively engage in a goal setting and reflecting process.
The act of setting goals, working towards them and reflecting on the process allows us to learn so much about ourselves, our interests and our dreams. Although for the most part the process is quite simple, I really believe that it is one that must be modelled and discussed to be truly understood.
The Creating Pathways to Success Policy has studnets explore more about themselves by exploring 4 key questions: Who Am I? Who do I want to Become? What are my Opportunities? What is my plan for Achieving my goals? These four inquiry questions will help guide our students as they begin exploring their world. As we work towards integrating this policy into our everyday teaching, creating a portfolio of their work and reflecting on the process, we will provide a framework the students can use throughout their lives.
As part of my summer reading I dove into Brene Brown’s new book Rising Strong, a research study exploring why some people are more successful recovering from falls than others. This study found that people who can rebound from setbacks or falls are those who are comfortable with exploring their emotions and their stories. They are able to get messy with their emotions, to understand the underlying issues surrounding the setback in order to rewrite a better ending to their story. This process involves an inquiry that also requires practice and patience.
The art of reflection is one that can teach us a lot about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, all the while helping us create a better future based on our learnings. I know personally that reflection can be messy and difficult but I also know how rewarding it can be.
As we begin rolling out this program in our schools, I look forward to the process and the future crop of students who are comfortable with exploring more about themselves. Students who have been taught a framework for self inquiy. Students with skills to ask themselves the tough questions, to search for the answers and to begin writing the unique story of their lives.
I also look forward to hearing from teachers in the trenches modeling this process for them. I’m willing to bet that there may just be some teacher story rewriting happen along the way as well!
To learn more about the Creating Pathways to Success Policy and the implementation within the LKDSB, check out this video.