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Diamonds in the Rough

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  1. Diamonds in the Rough The paradigm shift at the heart of Academic and Career Planning in Wisconsin

  2. Consider the Diamond • Beautiful, sparkling, possibly awe-inspiring • Set amongst rubies, sapphires, emeralds, etc. • Set in a ring, necklace, or earrings • Hope Diamond or Crown Jewels • Maybe industrial applications

  3. The Rest of the Story • The beauty and/or utility requires extensive processing by skilled craftspeople • There is natural beauty before refinement, but there is also great potential • The right person with the right skills can bring out the potential

  4. Unique Potential of a Diamond • Some excel on their own • Some excel best amongst other diamonds • Some excel amongst other gems • Some excel in certain settings but not others • Can depend on current market conditions

  5. The Sorting of Diamonds • Diamonds are sorted by characteristics • Most go through a standardized refinement process for industrial uses • Further sorted by industrial use qualities • “Gem quality” diamonds refined individually by highly skilled craftspeople

  6. Strength and Beauty Forever? • Diamonds remain strong with great potential regardless of treatment • Skilled craftsperson can restore or repurpose • Without attention, can be underutilized • Can be crushed with too much of the wrong types of pressure

  7. The Diamonds in Our Schools • Genetics and nurturing form unique characteristics of each child • There is natural beauty in each child • Children bring smiles and joy • Children hold incredible potential, but it is sometimes hidden deep inside

  8. The Sorting of Students • “Refinement and polishing” can occur before and outside of formal schooling • Caring nurturing adults • Surrounded by books, reading, etc. • Challenged by games and activities • Access to camps, trips, cultural events, sports, drama, clubs, etc. • Not all students have such exposure and opportunities

  9. Revealing the Potential • Good teachers look deeply and carefully at each student • They find the unique characteristics and strengths • They apply different tools and techniques tailored to the unique characteristics • They constantly reassess and adapt their approach for each child

  10. Schools not Always Conducive • Increasing academic demands • Increasing knowledge and skills required for most living-wage jobs • Limited time to carefully discover each student’s unique characteristics • Limited opportunities to develop meaningful, trusting, mutually respectful relationships

  11. Hidden Strength and Beauty • Children remain strong with incredible potential even after neglect, abuse, or experiencing tragic situations, but… • They need the interventions of a caring adult • Schools should facilitate the opportunities for such interventions which can benefit all students, even if they haven’t faced such things

  12. Honor Each Student’s Uniqueness • Academic and Career Planning • Adult mentor (guide, advocate) • Engaged student (designs and implements personal plan) • Student becomes his or her own craftsperson • Student takes ownership of planning, decision-making, learning, and developing

  13. Opportunities Better than Ever • Web-based and other technology tools for: • Student self-discovery and awareness • Labor Market Information • Visioning, goal-setting, and planning • Numerous means of career exploration • New ways to deliver instruction • New contexts for students to learn • Acceptance of and push for innovation

  14. Academic and Career Planning • Students develop academic, career, and personal goals then plan how to achieve them • Vehicle for designing and delivering truly student-centered instruction and activities • Engage and empower students • Close achievement and opportunity gaps, improve academic performance, address workforce and academic challenges

  15. Academic and Career Planning • To learn more about Academic and Career Planning and its implementation, view: “Academic and Career Planning in Wisconsin – An Overview”

  16. Diamonds in the Rough - Prologue • Red carpet vs. Red Cross • Diamonds vs. Children • Every child deserves the opportunity to become his or her best self