An important theme in RTI and social-emotional learning programs like WhyTry is the idea of providing students with clear examples of how to succeed. Students who fall into the Tier 2 and 3 categories often do not have a support system that encourages them to better themselves, and we must help them achieve the growth-mindset that will lead to overall success and happiness in life.
Step 1: Setting a Positive Goal
In the How to Succeed Guidebook, setting a positive goal is the first and arguably most important step. A positive goal can provide motivation as a student moves through educational programs in school and throughout their life. A positive goal can be short-term, but a long-term goal is more effective. In the WhyTry Program, this is part of the Reality Ride analogy, though it is used throughout the lessons.
A positive long-term goal can be realistic or unrealistic, as long as it is their goal, not yours, and that it does not hurt themselves or others. It would be wise to think of a goal you had (become a teacher, counselor, etc.) and show the student that these future goals are attainable.
Step 2: Light The Path
Once a student has set a goal, design a path that illustrates how to succeed in obtaining that goal. Start with the basics. Start with right now. If the student or child wants to be a professional basketball player, run with it. Tell them, “That’s great! But what should you be doing now to reach that goal?”
Start with today. Encourage them to be involved now to develop the needed skills to obtain their goal. Tie this in to education. Tell them they must get good enough grades to qualify for sports, attend college to be recruited, etc.
Continue to help them see the path to success. Using this same goal, you can help the child see that accomplishing a goal takes small steps as well as desire, time, and effort. (See WhyTry analogy Desire, Time, Effort)
Step 3: Become The Expert
Let your student feel comfortable seeking you out as a reference, guide, and inspiration for how succeed in achieving his or her goals. They may ask you questions and reach our for your opinion. This is your chance to become the expert. In our example, you could tell them the ins-and-outs of qualifying for professional sports, always emphasizing hard work over natural talent.
If you become the expert, you will be better able to inspire your student to continue toward their goal. This is also an important part of building relationships in education and SEL programs like WhyTry.
For more information about implementation of the WhyTry Program, contact us today.