It seems clear to me and most educators that you have to begin any real task with the end result in mind. What do we want our students be able to do? What kind of experience do we want them to have? What skills do we hope they leave with once they graduate?
Given those questions I thought I’d take a shot at some of the things that I want to see from students that matriculate from a place that I am proud to work:
- Our students will be courageous. They will not fear making mistakes. They will look a challenge in the face and dive right in with everything they have. When they fail, they will celebrate the failure, dissect it, learn from it and grow.
- Our students will be kind. They will use their courage to treat all of their classmates with respect at all times. Our students will be concerned for all people they come across. They will have a world view that is wide open, and flexible to truly be able to help someone who might need a hand.
- Our students will be curious. They will know that learning never ends because it is the only true currency in this world. Our students must instinctually follow their curiosities like a toddler does, just with a little less fork-in-the-socket sort of logic.
- Our students must be able to start something all on their own. They must know that they will learn because they started, not because they got the answer right.
- Our students will be self aware. They must know when stress is weighing them down, or sleep has been too little, or when they need to step back and refocus their world. They will practice mindfulness everyday and work towards a healthy balance of efficient progress, and healthy rest.
- Our students will make real connections with others. They must be able to have a conversation with people around them that isn’t assisted by technology. They need to be able to connect with an audience too. Our world experience is not solely one-on-one or over the internet. Our students must be able to negotiate this world in all its forms.
- Our students must understand the technology that is in play with the world. They must maintain the necessary skills that are relevant and constantly upgrade those skills to manage the ever growing needs in our world. They must also manage to balance these technological skills with the skill of disconnection. Being able to manipulate and create through technology is an addicting thing. Being able to disconnect and refocus is equally as important.
- Our students must persevere with logic and creativity to solve problems. They will need patience and confidence to work through problems in a way that creates a real solution viable for whomever is asking the question.
- Our students will be involved in the world. They will know that in our connected world, anything that happens anywhere effects us all everywhere. They will stay informed, interested, and engaged in the events that happen around us. They will look for and work towards solutions that make the world better.
- Our students will follow through. When they start something, they will see it through to satisfactory completion. This will incorporate courage, perseverance, creativity, logic, and the ability to rest, refocus, and move forward.
I suppose 10 ESLRs is a solid round number. I consider this a first draft and would love input on tweaks, additions, deletions, and any other ideas on the goals that we are a looking to create here. My thought is to have extremely lofty goals, steadfast belief that every student is capable of these goals, and only hire people who believe the same is possible.