Can you tell me something?

I asked my students to come up with individualized problems that could be solved with any solution, no matter the process.

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I recently sat down with my students and gave them 3 things: Food, Problems, and Unlimited Options for Solutions. 

When I asked them individually what I could do as a college and career counselor to help them succeed, they each said they don't know what success is yet or what problems would be worth solving. So I asked them more questions about what they consider success in school and what is stopping them from following academic pursuits. One student is a 17 year old mother who dreams of becoming a nurse, but her GPA is stopping her efforts as she has to take remedial classes for a while. The other is a 17 year old aspiring beautician who doesn't have much options when it comes to her dreams because she has to be practical. Student A, the mother, said that she wishes she had time in school, maybe an hour each day, for personal development, college access, catching up on homework, or anything that was a free space that could lead to personal and academic growth. Student B, the realist, wanted to have more accountability that led to incentives like free Chipotle after turning in homework everyday for a marking period. After some more talking, these students also said that they don't have a safe space to share ideas and dreams. Because of outside of school forces and practicality, most of their ideas are shot down or are not cultivated. They said if they had a safe space where people would urge to ask them what they could make in order for them to succeed and gave them or directed them towards their tools, they would create and make dreams. This really got me thinking, and I provoked more dreams and ideas and here is what I got:

1. Safe Space to cultivate ideas

2. Time each day to work on personal and academic growth

3. Incentives for follow-through on pursuits

4. Roundtable discussions involving food and think-tank mindsets once a week to create student-based solutions for the school and community

5. Outside presenters and people who are relatable who have made some sort of effort to follow pursuits

6. Daily exposure and use of new technology and ideas

7. Student ran learning modules with goals and tasks each week


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