Over the past few weeks, I have been paying close attention to the comments students write on our surveys. At the end of our presentations, students have the opportunity to provide us with details on what they learned and enjoyed most.
We've received over 2,000 surveys over the past two months and it's always insightful to read through the impact we have. Every now and then I stumble upon a response that sticks out from the rest. Recently, I read through a stack of surveys and I found this:
What did you like about the presentation?: "It directly touched my heart and made me realize that I have to step up my game."
What's one thing you learned?: "Hard work always pays off and that believing in yourself is important."
My goal in every presentation is to provide a realistic success story for students to hear, reflect on, and become motivated from. I want students to realize that they have the power to create their future. No matter what situation they are in, it is never too late for them to put in hard work and go after their dreams.
I strive to relate to students throughout my presentation. I do my best to encourage students to go for it.
I realized through many of the completed surveys, there are often consistent comments that show up:
Although I have yet to figure out exactly how to effectively get students to step up their game, maybe there is something here.
As parents, educators, friends, and mentors, we can make the difference. Let's give it a try!
I hope that if you get the opportunity to interact with a teenager, you allow yourself to be real, make them laugh, exude some energy, and model what confidence looks like. This might be exactly what they need and may be the way we get students to step up their game.