Those who provide academic mentoring and academic coaching for under-functioning students should not overlook the value of simple affirmations. An article appeared in the October 12 edition of the Richmond Times Dispatch regarding the poverty and educational challenges in Highland View School in Bristol, Virginia. Included in the article is the pledge that students at Highland View are required to learn and recite on a daily basis. Affirmations such as the one that follows helps students stay centered with their instruments properly calibrated. They also help students assume the student role so that the likelihood of productive classroom experiences is enhanced.
I pledge today to do my best
in reading, math, and all the rest.
I promise to obey the rules
in my class and in the school.
I’ll respect myself and others, too.
I’ll expect the best in all I do.
I’m here to learn all I can.
To try my best and be all I can.
- Highland View School Pledge
On a similar vein, the school principal reminds students during morning announcements that school is their job and grades are their paycheck, and they have to earn that paycheck. The students are encouraged to fist-pump and say “KA-CHING!” after the word paycheck.
The article in the Richmond Times Dispatch nicely summarizes the challenges confronted by educators generally, and how the job of teaching is particularly daunting if educational endeavors are not supported in the home and if domestic violence, unemployment, and substance abuse are commonplace. I encourage parents to support their local schools, and the educator professionals who work there.
- Andrew J. Billups, PsyD