How Do You Measure Success?

How Do You Measure Success?

In the world of academics, learning is measured by numerical data and anecdotal notes, but is this the only way success is measured?

When I was in the first grade, I had an experience that changed my life. Our teacher would read to us each day after recess. I loved this part of the day and listened to my teacher’s voice as she flowed over the words with ease like an Olympic skater on ice. I wanted to be a good reader just like her. One day a knock came at the door. The principal stated that there was a phone call in the office for my teacher. There was a pause that grew like a balloon slowly being inflated. My teacher looked across the room intently until her eyes landed on mine. “Jolyn, would you please sit on my stool and finish reading to the class?” You would have thought I had just won the hopscotch tournament as my heart swelled with joy. At six years old, I did not know how to describe how I felt. I look back now at how that moment empowered me. I was seen as a reader. A real reader. My teacher trusted me. It did not matter whether or not I read well. What mattered was, she thought I did. That point in time catapulted my academic future into the world I live in now.

Measuring success is more than just numbers and records. It also involves something else that may be hard to measure. The affective domain involves our feelings, emotions and attitudes toward learning. When a student can feel hopeful, encouraged and joyful about learning, it then affects the numbers and records that measure that learning. Here at Maple Lake Academy our students’ feelings are as important as the grades they produce. We strive to have classrooms that are designed to encourage risk-taking, open minds and safe environments. My day involves doing deep dives into numerical data, reading anecdotal notes and observations and meeting with colleagues, but my favorite thing is to walk through campus and see and hear the joy that emanates from our students.

Pictured here is a former student, Eli. Eli loves to learn and he continues to move forward with hope, encouragement and joy.

Jolyn Mitchell

Academic Program Manager

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