Everyone Can Succeed

Head of School

Everyone can succeed – it’s all in how we measure.

I recently read an article wherein we are told to accept that not everyone can succeed. While this article focussed on adult success, and I take issue with a number of points made, schools need to view this conversation through the lens of what it means for a student to be successful. I submit that all students can succeed against thoughtful measures of success.

To make the measures in a school meaningful, I propose that each student’s goal should be to be just a little bit better at the end of any day then they were at the beginning of the day. Teachers should look for this along what I call the CASAL continuum:

    1. Character development
    2. Academic mastery
    3. Self Awareness
    4. Adaptability
    5. Learning how to learn

When the measure of success is determined by growth on the CASAL continuum then every student can succeed. Success will not come to every student on daily basis along all areas of the continuum, rather, the goal is to find and facilitate daily incremental growth somewhere on the continuum.

Perhaps a social interaction lead to a character development moment, or work on a mathematical concept lead someone a little closer to mastery of the concept, or perhaps a student adapted and found a new way to approach a persistent challenge. Whatever the moment, if there is incremental growth somewhere on the continuum, then there is measurable and meaningful success.

Collectively, these moments lead to an academic year filled with personal, social, emotional and academic growth. And that, by any measure, is success.

 

Christopher White

Head of School

Kempenfelt Bay School

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