Monday, March 13, 2017

Accountability & Success

What a crazy two weeks it has been for us at Shaw Heights! I must apologize for the missing blog post as I was unable to write one last week. I have been out for two weeks as I have been recoveing from a collapsed lung, and it has been quite a long and painful process. I am so thankful to have had one of our long term substitute teachers, Mr. Morris, covering for me during my absence. Our YESS scholars are quite found of Mr. Morris, and having one person instead of a multitude of subs is something for which I am incredibly grateful.

Our worksheet on Accountability and Success
In the week prior to my absence the scholars and I continued our work on accountability by discussing success and ways that one can take accountability at any given moment. We spent some time working on accountability statements--that is, how to change the language so that we are being accountable for our actions and are not dismissive, defiant, or in denial about what transpired. We worked on statements such as, "It broke," and one by one scholars came to the board to tweak the statement until it became 100% accountable. We framed the statement in the context of an individual breaking someone's phone and simply handing it back without explanation nor apology. Our scholars changed "it broke" to, "I am so sorry, I broke your phone. Can I help pay to fix it?" We did this exercise with several common "excuse" statements such as: they were doing it first; she told me to; he started it; I didn't mean to; it wasn't my fault; and I didn't know. It was wonderful to see our YESS scholars registering the difference between an accountable statement and one that is more of an excuse.

7th Hour playing Connect Four
7th Hour Chess games
We took this knowledge and expanded upon it by doing a worksheet that asked for each scholar to complete a story in which the main character was faced with an opportunity to either be accountable or not. The worksheet also asked one to consider a time in which one was accusatory and defiant instead of accountable and to rework the situation given the new found knowledge of how, exactly, to be fully accountable. We had a great time working on these worksheets together and the mentors did an excellent job of helping the mentees understand the importance of 100% accountability.

After completing this lengthy packet we had a game day together to unwind. We had several great games of Uno, a really intense table of Connect Four players, and a few close chess games. It was a great week and I am so looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this week as we wrap up our Accountability unit with an amazing art project on self-portraits.

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