"What would you like to achieve today?“
This is a question that each learner in Cohort 1-2 is asked every morning when they arrive. You might think this is a difficult question, even for us as adults. However, with the support we provide our learners at VERSO International School Bangkok, they are able to set their own daily goals. This daily goal is an important part of the day for our students as it helps guide them in their daily decisions.
Goal setting is an important part of the day for students as it helps guide them in their daily decisions.
One of our main goals at VERSO is to teach the children the skills they need for the future, the skills they need now. We teach them to choose their own learning path and journey, and the results we get with our guidance have been incredible. We have seen great academic success, but most importantly, children who want to learn, who are self-aware, who ask for help, and most importantly, who challenge themselves.
It's easy as a teacher to move your class as a herd and say, "We are all doing literacy now and working on how to use a question mark.” However, it's not as easy to allow learners to move through the curriculum at their own pace and according to their own interests, but that's exactly what we do. Each day, we offer a variety of workshops that learners can choose from based on their goals for the day, current needs, and interests. They also have the option to sign up for "help desk" sessions where they can work on something they would like to do, or ask the Learning Designer to give them a task they know will strengthen their skills or abilities.
Each day, learners select from a variety of workshops based on their goals for the day, current needs, and interests.
“Learning happens everywhere and goals can be set at home too. Instead of asking 'What should we do today?' try asking 'What do you want to accomplish today?' "
- EMMA WESTON
The VERSO Mindsets
An important part of our "being" at VERSO is our mindsets, which is evident in everything we do, including how we as Learning Designers help our learners set goals. We have thought about each of our key mindsets and have developed some questions to ask learners as they create their own goal. Here are a few examples:
Curious to Explore: What is something you are curious about? How would you like to find out more about it? Would you like to go outside of the unit space today? Where to?
With the support we provide our learners at VERSO, they are able to set their own daily goals.
Inspired to Connect: How can you connect to family near and far? How might you engage with learners in another cohort? Which adult would you like to connect with today? Which learner in the cohort do you know the least? How might you connect with them?
Driven to Contribute: What is happening in the world today? Watch the news. How can you develop and improve our learning space? How can you contribute to the learning within the cohort? How can you make the world a better place? Whose day will you make better? And How?
Equipped to Transition: What skills would you like to develop today? Which area of the classroom would you like to explore today? How might you engage with the learners in Grade 3 / EY 5 this week? Look at your reflection booklet - which areas of learning did you engage in the least and how could you work on that area today?
Parents can adapt the questions above when at home and instead of asking "What should we do today?" try asking "What do you want to accomplish today?"
These questions could be adapted to help you as you think about how you want to spend your day at home with your child. Learning happens everywhere and goals can be set at home too, although not as visibly as at school. One question I am sure you ask often is, "What should we do today?" Maybe next time you could ask, "What do you want to accomplish today?"
Watch how our learners set goals in our Cohort 1-2 learning space and how we encourage student advocacy and quality learning experiences.