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I Believe: Project 180, Day 151

Belief matters. I use my belief in students to drive and shape their beliefs in themselves. And that has certainly been at the core of Project 180 this year. When I gave my kids an A, I was saying, “I believe in you. You can and will learn this year out of commitment, not compliance.” And while commitment has taken many forms this year, traditional compliance has been non-existent. And though we still have 29 days to go, there are some indicators that my belief has made a difference.

First, some preliminary SBA results have already begun to roll in. With results from a little over half of my kids in the database, I am thrilled with our success; the kids have already exceeded my expectations. I am reluctant to share numbers at this stage, but I should be able to by week’s end. Suffice it to say, I am very happy with the results.

Second, on a whim, I changed things up a bit for the practice speeches on Friday. Wanting to test personal commitment to growth opportunities, I told the kids that they did not have to participate in the day’s practice round. I told them they had an opportunity to grow from experience and feedback, and if they wanted to capitalize on it, the podium was open. And one after one, the kids stepped up. It was perhaps a crowning moment on the year. Here were kids doing what they perhaps hate and fear most–public speaking–for the sake of growth. Of course, not every kid got up and some needed some cajoling from their peers, but most seized the opportunity. Not sure there is much that is more fulfilling than that. I believe. So they will believe.

Happy Monday, all.

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