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KAUAI KORNER: NOT YET

By Melinda Montgomery, Program Coordinator on Kauai

As we continue to work on building and improving our School Success Program, one of the approaches we use to engage youth and encourage perseverance and resiliency is the power of “Not Yet.”

In the regular DOE classroom students must pass tests and courses, and are given “grades.”  When a student gets a “failing grade” they tend to think, “I’m a loser” or I’m stupid.” This can lead to being discouraged and wanting to give up.  Our approach when a student does not pass their unit test or their mastery test, or when the GED student doesn’t pass the math unit, we say “not yet.” You have not passed that “yet.”  This approach sends the message that a student is on a learning curve, that they can move at their own pace, and it moves them forward in a positive way on their path into their future.

This approach praises the process of learning not praising intelligence or talent.  When you praise the process you praise their perseverance and their improvement which results in resiliency, confidence, and persistence.  These are the qualities that we want to teach our students so that they can value effort and understand how to work through difficulty.

We are creating a place where students can know that they are capable of growth and learning.
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