How to Facilitate Creating a Positive Student Persona
Have you ever heard your student counting down until the day they graduate from high school?
Have you ever heard your student joke about never using any of the subjects from school after they’ve graduated?
There are many opportunities for student growth that exist outside of the school environment, but students become so burnt out with their existing workloads that the prospect of additional development, at the cost of more time, is horrific. The obvious and easiest solution is to ignore, avoid and hide. This allows students to feel a false sense of control over their time, when in fact we’re missing the point of development.
Why should we change the ‘avoid mentality’ when it comes to student growth and development?
The school environment exists as a well of knowledge and support for students, but it is also increasingly becoming necessary for students to dissociate from their home personas to ‘get through’ the school experience. We never stop learning. We aren’t students for 13 years and then a separate entity following graduation and this idea is fundamental when it comes to encouraging students to form a positive and strong student persona that fits into their lives rather than existing alongside.
We currently understand a student to be an individual who is dedicating a large portion of their daily lives to mastering a field of information. This mindset robs us of the understanding that student is a persona that everyone has from the moment they are born and for the rest of their lives. It is an area of our brain that we tap into each t
ime we attempt to understand a new concept – and how often in your post schooling life are we exposed to these situations? Conversations, projects, routes, recipes, adventures and forming new friendships are just of few of the situations in which we are required to become students once again.
How do we change the ignore, avoid, and hide approach?
By taking the time to encourage, develop and reward skill development, while at the same time shaping the bigger picture into which school fits, we can empower our student minds to thrive. Encourage your students to face new opportunities so they can get to know the instinctual ways in which they respond to new information. Face learning environments outside of the school world to form a stronger connection to the student persona separate to the school environment. Finally, make time for rewarding the courage it takes to willingly expose oneself to situations that require a student mindset.
Strengthening skills and building an enriched understanding of the nature of the world, and the different roles we move through as we grow, is the best way to empower students.