Chelan Hansen, grade 7, Rutland Middle School, Kelowna, BC, Scott Tupper, 2016-17
It was pretty fun coming back from the holidays having kids always asking about when we were doing Classroom Champion stuff again, if we are done with Scott or not. I showed his video as soon as it was up and they were all excited to hear he was so close to us in Vancouver.
The kids talked about the video after but a lot had a hard time thinking of their own examples. We talked about famous examples and I showed them some videos of examples to help spark their ideas. They shared to each other about their examples and pretty soon the kids had examples from their own life.
I gave them a challenge to replicate a paper cut out and I took notes of the words being used while they did it. After about 5 minutes I started writing the words on the board. A lot of the words were negative. We talked about the mindset to take when approaching a problem and what were the things that get in the way in their life. We also talked about how some people preserved and some people gave up in the challenge.
I had them define perseverance and discuss an example of when they preserved in their life. They had to also write what got in their way. It was interesting how many kids could recognize that THEY got in their way.
They also had to think of another example in which their failed and gave up. An exciting example I got in was a student who had huge attendance issues at the start of the year. He did not want to come to school. He picked that as his example on how he persevered. He and I talked about how his living situation is a struggle for him. He is now attending fairly regularly and expressed pride and success in that. We talked about how he made the journey and how it has affected his happiness and he offered himself that he is less stressed, and happier in life because of that journey. Now, he is behind a bit, but he asked to stay in last week to get caught up. Proud teacher moment!! So happy for him and his success.
I gave them all out their goals that we started the year making and had them reflect on those. It gave many kids who struggled to find an example a good base to work from. From there we also revised our goals, and made new ones for the kids who had completed their goals! I shared the perseverance pages with their families as well as their new goals to bring the family into the conversation. Scott’s video was also sent home for them to watch as well. We then started to define what perseverance looks, feels, and sounds like in our classroom. The kids recognized and need to change the negative talk, despite many of them being successful in the paper challenge. This led down the path to growth mindset being something the kids felt they needed in order to persevere. Which is now going to be a whole new path we go down together. We also did another bottle/can collection and the kids were excited how much cleaner the bins were. They were so proud their presentation to the rest of the school worked to help make recycling more effective!
We do Presentations of Learning in our school at the end of the year, highlighting the 5 attributes (learner, thinker, innovator, collaborator, and contributor) and their work on perseverance and classroom champions fits into that nicely, so we have begun to talk about how our monthly themes fit in to their growth as a person.