Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Look Closely

“Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.” 
-Alice Walker

I've been grading final papers for my student development class today. This assignment is completed over the course of the semester and is a personal assessment in seven parts. 

  • Part one students lay out their personal motivations and goals in life. 
  • Two is a reflection on their past and current behaviors, habits and strategies. 
  • Three they analyze the effectiveness of their behaviors, habits and strategies in relation to their goals. 
  • Four they collect honest and forthright  feedback from 5 or 6 trusted individuals on their strengths and weaknesses. Three of these are from equals and 2 are from superiors. 
  • Five they evaluate the outside reflections for similarities. 
  • Six is where they compare the feedback they received from others with their personal reflections in section 3. They look for similarities and surprising differences. 
  • Seven is their conclusion which includes a wrap up of their findings and areas for future action/study/thought.
Each semester I am surprised at just how whole heartedly the students attack this project and how happy they are with the end results. It warms my heart to read about the big goals they have, their strong desire to serve and to love others. They usually share a similar goal along the lines of "be happy" or "get better" at the beginning of the semester. By the end my hope is that that have defined that to something that is measurable and precise and something they are willing to continually strive towards.

I've had a great group this semester and I'm really gonna miss them. I wonder what next semester will bring me?

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