Goal Directed and Resilient Individual: A Vision Beyond Graduation
EHHS debuted the Vision of the Graduate at the start of Spring Semester 2023 and within the list of five attributes, there is one that all the others rely upon: Goal Directed and Resilient Individual. According to EHHS administrators and teachers, this attribute is the most important to life after graduation and from which all the others are derived. It is no secret that this is an area in which EHHS students struggle, but according to EHHS Principal Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo, we are moving towards change.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines being goal directed and resilient means to be aimed or directed towards a specific goal or task and the ability to recover from or adjust in the face of change or difficulty. “[It] means something different to everyone but it has foundational elements that cross over to everybody,” says Mr. DeNuzzo. For EHHS students, it means setting goals, big or small, and working to achieve them, and being able to redirect or retry when there are obstacles in their way.
When asking EHHS teachers about the impact implementation had on their content and teaching, very little had changed. The largest difference was in giving more options for exam retakes, redoing assignments, reflection, and directing student attention to the attributes and incorporating it into classroom dialogue. In trying to teach students to stop accepting failure and be resilient in the face of adversity, Math Instructional Leader and teacher Ms. Jennifer Bauer has implemented new retake and reflection policies in her classroom.
When asked if they were already seeing a change in student behavior, an overwhelming number of teachers and administrators answered with a resounding “yes,” but all said that improvement needs to be made, especially in regard to resilience. According to Science teacher Ms. Ellery Riccio, “We have to flip the script when it comes to student mindset with work they don’t want to do,” by showing students that it is possible to achieve the goals they set, regardless of how big or small they are.
The importance of goal direction and resiliency reaches far beyond the halls and walls of academic institutions and classrooms, but into the real world. Challenges, setbacks, and obstacles arise every day, and the earlier students learn how to redirect, adjust, and push through, the easier it will be for them post-graduation. The Vision of the Graduate's attributes reflect necessary life skills beyond graduation—skills people will need no matter what path they take. Goal Directed and Resilient Individual is merely the umbrella under which all the rest fall under. According to English Instructional Leader Mrs. Lisa Veleas, “It is the underpinning of all the other attributes.”