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Living Your Legacy Can Help Struggling Students

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Your comments, and all those I have received here and elsewhere, reinforces how much in SEL/SECD is part of wider wisdom. While there are nuances of difference in what Covey and Responsive Classroom recommend, and the Legacy idea that I suggested, they are less important. Indeed, Grant Wiggins' Understanding By Design reflects the same pedagogical underpinning, the value of "backward planning." Remember, the idea can be used to help struggling students by giving them a realistic goal and suggesting the belief that they will reach it, if they continue to be willing to strive toward it. But the key, as always, is that the goal must be held by the one doing the work. Setting goals for kids that they do not buy into is likely to promote frustration and failure. Genuine legacy-setting is personal, and that's why it works.

English Teacher from Queens, NY

I did this today!

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Thanks. I did this today. Can't wait to start reading what my students wrote! It really helped them think about the year. Some students shared that it helped them think about what they'd need to do to be the kind of person they wanted to be...and that it would take a lot of work!

4-6 teacher interested in all things technology, curriculum and creative

Hopes and Dreams

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This is very similar to the responsive classroom Hopes and Dreams procedure. Students write their Hopes and Dreams at the beginning of the year. Parents also write a set of Hopes and Dreams they have for their child's school year too. These are posted in the classroom and visited throughout the year.

Author of YA novel, special educator

"Begin with the end in mind."

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I love this idea. It reflects one of the teachings of Stephen Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: "Begin with the end in mind." Whenever my students get stuck or unsure how to proceed, I ask them: "What is your goal, here?" The same can be applied to parents and teachers. September is a great time to take stocks. Teachers--what will be your end-of-year legacy?

Student teacher preparing for certification from Gilbert, Arizona

This was a very helpful post.

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This was a very helpful post. I felt inspired to plan a unit for the first week of school. I used your ideas to focus my lessons on a supportive classroom community. The legacy statement introduces students to the concept of potential and goal setting. This leads us to classroom management and rules, which the class will help me outline based on what we want to achieve together. I will introduce the writing process using their legacy statements as their first rough drafts of the year. As we edit our drafts we will talk about how mistakes make wonderful teachers if we accept them as part of the process. In addition, we will set a group goal to accept and support each other. This means accepting that we will each make some mistakes along the way, and that's OK! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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