After not making an athletic team a student struggled to find a place at school to call home. He decided to join the theatre department. When he first saw his name on a playbill it gave him just the connection he needed! He explained to his mom, “just having your name listed as part of a group feels great!”
Everyone desires to belong! We thrive in groups when we are respected for our contribution and a sense of responsibility when we do our part to help the group achieve. Participating in a group builds commitment, ownership and loyalty. Developing social skills and learning that success and failure is a part of life is essential.
We all want hopeful, engaged and happy students that make connections at school to help grow the best version of themselves, academically, socially and emotionally. In my school district, Wylie ISD, we set aside a few days each year and focus on the values and strategies to help our students learn, grow and achieve in a productive and meaningful way. We call these “Wylie Way Days!”
During “Wylie Way Days,” we help students pursue academic excellence, beginning with assisting them in crafting a personal pathway towards their future based on their strengths and passions by equipping them with the social savviness necessary for the journey towards a hopeful and prosperous life.
Students collect what they learn in Wylie ISD in the Achievement Profile as a resource follows them each year as a reflection tool. We want to help kids find a place to belong. We believe starting with your strengths is the best, first step to help kids feel a sense of belonging. Tomorrow we will ask them to list their achievements on the profile.
Second, having someone who makes them feel valued is also crucial to feeling connected. We will ask students:
“Who makes you feel like you matter?”
“What matters to you?”
The answers to these two questions can tell you a lot about their level of connection. Connected kids are much more likely to find success in school and life. Maybe they didn’t get the spot on the cheerleading or debate team but encourage your child to find a place to connect. Just like the boy said to his mom, “Having your name on a list or roster feels great!”
Want to help your kid achieve? Take a few moments to discuss these questions with our kids at home. Achievers are loyal members of a group or team!