A couple of months ago, I posted a blog titled "Best PLC Meeting Ever". Well, on Friday, some of the PLC members I work with gave me one of the BEST DAYS ever!
Friday was the last day of the marking period. The Success students I work with were working fast and furious catching up on any missing assignments, and my amazing teachers were right there with us helping them get caught up on anything they were missing.
A couple weeks prior to this, the Success students created 3-slide presentations they could show someone who would serve as a potential mentor for them. The presentations allowed the students to share a little about themselves...their likes, dislikes, and what exactly they needed help on. I took each of those presentations and added a fourth slide to them. That fourth slide had their grade from the first semester, and from the last marking period (the period they spent the success class in). I then took all of the presentations and loaded them onto a Google site that our teachers could access. The teachers were able to flip through the presentations, and if they felt so inclined, could use a Google form to select a student they wanted to mentor for the fourth marking period.
On Friday, the mentors came and visited their students. To say that these students were excited to find out that someone picked them would be an understatement. The teachers were also sincerely excited to meet these students who had come so far. They made plans to meet on a regular basis, and then left to allow the students to finish up their work for the marking period with the teachers who were helping them out. After the mentors had left, I took a minute to sit down with the students and told them to open up the presentation they created, and to take a look at the fourth slide I created for them. I had kids grinning from ear to ear, jumping up and down, and yelling "YES" when they saw the progress they had made. In some cases we weren't just talking about moving from an F to a D. Some of the students moved from a F to a C+. One moved from an F to a B! All were on the right track to passing the grade.
Now the really hard work begins for these students and their mentors. They are going to have to maintain these grades by applying the skills they used in the Success class. My job will be to make sure these students are beng monitored, and that they continue to receive the supports and materials they need to continue to be successful.
When all is said and done, there really isn't any secret formula to this program. It all comes down to establishing and maintaining relationships, and making sure they have everything they need to be successful. Does it take time and effort? Sure! It takes tons of time and effort. Is it worth it? Definately.