Resilience and persistence are learned through the setting of goals that encourage someone to go beyond their comfort zone. Our Personal Best project at year 8 is designed to encourage students to set ‘big, hairy, audacious goals’ in relation to a passion project that will allow them to go beyond their personal best. Students are supported by their coach, who is an adult with expertise related to their chosen project, and a facilitator, who is the Learning Mentor teacher who assists in the identification and monitoring of goals.
In choosing a passion project, students begin with a positive mindset that assists them when they face the inevitable challenges that come with a big project idea and an aspirational goal. They may experience disappointment and setbacks along the way but it is in how they deal with these where the learning occurs.
Student projects are as diverse as the students themselves and over the years have included:
- Renovating a back yard
- Building arcade computer games
- Training for fun runs
- Running a Trivia Night as a fundraiser activity
- Performances such as writing and performing an original song
- Choreographing a dance routine
- Running a 24 hour skateboard event as a fundraiser
- Building a bookshelf
- Hosting a dinner party for 8
- Running a book exchange
- Achieving a PB in swimming
- Training the pet dog to become a trick/stunt dog
- Building a go cart
- Designing and making an outfit
- Creating an heirloom quilt
Students present their projects to their peers and parents and each class selects the project they think represent the goals of the program for the Personal Best showcase.