February 2020 Newsletter
Creativity + Accountability = Accomplishment
Last month, I wrote about my 2020 resolution of setting a regular workout schedule once and for all.
Research shows that sharing goals increases the chances of reaching them, so I shared mine with my seniors. "This year," I declared with faux- confidence, "I will get in the best shape of my life."
After a chorus of snickers and "Who cares?," Kenny N. came up to me after class and said, "Mr. Hughes, keep me posted on how that goes for you. And I also want you to hold me accountable for my goal for 2020, which is starting my own company."
Now you understand why I love working with these kids so much.
I could write a full column about the awesomeness that is Kenny, but for my purposes here, let's just say I had painted myself into a corner.
To further lock myself into this absurd promise, later that day I assigned a final project to my independent study students in which they matched a topic of their interest with a skill they wanted to develop, culminating in a product that captured their learning. Motivated (and terrified) by Kenny's implicit challenge, I committed to doing the project right alongside them. My topic was fitness and my skill was writing.
Two big accidental takeaways from the project:
1) I learned that the best way for me to reach a goal is to have a deadline, a creative project, and some others holding me accountable. In my case, I wrote and recorded a rap about my fitness journey, and I am happy to report that I worked out at least four days a week for the month of January. That's the longest streak of consecutive weeks working out since high school tennis, which arguably doesn't even count.
2) I was reminded that everyone has a unique talent, which is easily accessible with the right balance of structure and autonomy. Two of my students (Joya and Kelsea) wrote fantastic poems, one (Brianna) wrote a proposal about animal cruelty in makeup products, and another (Kaytlin)drew a professional-caliber picture of Baby Yoda (upper right).
This experience solidified my belief that we, as parents and educators, must continue to tap into our children's' creativity; they all have it, but for some, it has gone dormant.
And Kenny? He's already taken on two clients, has read Lean Startup and Never Split the Difference, and will probably be a millionaire before I go completely bald (not long). Thanks to Kenny, Joya, Kelsea, Bri, and Kaytlin for helping me stay on track in 2020!
Ries, Eric. Lean Startup. Portfolio Penguin, 2017.
Voss, Christopher A., and Tahl Raz. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. Rh Business Books, 2017.
Nonsense, MC. Fake Airpods. 2020.
100% of proceeds go toward Eagle Scholars Award winners' college education. Awards will be presented at Honors Night. These are students who have gone above and beyond the requirements of the program.
Thurston - Important Dates
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2/8: Free SAT practice test at the Redford Library. Register here.
3/6: Admissions decisions final for 2020-21 school year (in-district)
3/14: Free SAT practice test at the Redford Library. Register here
3/19: Albion College Visit
4/14: SAT (Juniors only)
5/21: Honors Dinner
5/28: Honors Night
6/1: Eagle Scholars Program Orientation
6/1: AP Kickoff night
College Acceptance Letters are rolling in!
Bryan, Rachel, Jenac'y, Angel, and Paulette promote Eagle Scholars at the 8th grade visit
Pierce - Important Dates
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February 6th: Activity Night 6-8pm
February 7th: ½ day for Pierce students
February 8th: Solo Ensemble
February 12th: Band concert 6:30pm
February 14th and 17th: No School, winter break
February 25th: PTO meeting 6:30pm