As a mastery-based school, our learners work hard each day to master the foundational skills of reading, writing, and math. But what about the non-academic skills? What about character growth? How do we measure meta-cognitive growth (or the ability to think about thinking)? What about social/emotional growth?
As we near the last session of our inaugural year together, I decided to find my own answers to these questions by asking our heroes directly.
What do you want your parents to know about your time spent at TVS?
“I want them to know that this is really hard and I’m doing my best.”
“I want them to know I am learning and I’ve gotten a lot better at figuring things out on my own.”
“It’s okay if we don’t enjoy everything we’re learning because it’s important to do it and feel the sense of accomplishment. We’ll be okay. We’ll be better than okay if we do something hard.”
“Sometimes I get mad but I’m learning how to work through things.”
“Sometimes I’ll get hurt, but I’ll be okay.”
“I am happy. We have freedom. I’m cared for here.”
What’s changed for you? (“I used to think/do _________but now I ___________.”)
“I used to think work was torture, but now I think of work as a challenge and a way to feel good about yourself. Laziness doesn’t feel good.”
“I used to think I wasn’t very good at learning, but now I know I am.”
“I used to think math was boring and I didn’t need it for life but now I’m in the middle because I’m getting better at it.”
“I used to be mad at everything. The rules were stupid at my old school and there was a lot of drama. I never wanted to go. I like coming to school now- except when I’m tired.”
“My view on things that are hard has changed. I think now the things you resist are often the things we need the most.”
“I used to think that I was just okay at things like math and spelling, but now I think I’m good at them. Also, I think I’m a more interesting person now.”
“I used to think I was clever, but now I know I am clever and smart.”
And, one of my personal favorites, (most of our heroes pack their own lunches each day…)
“I used to pack a small lunch but now I make sure to pack a big lunch.”
Sometimes, all it takes is a good question to measure growth.