Do all of our students have at least one teacher who makes them excited about the future?

Good morning, Parents.  

I heard a speaker last week who shared some conclusions from some pretty interesting research he was doing with student perceptions on the quality of their schools.  He shared that if students responded positively to the following two statements, their schools were substantially (as much as thirty times) more successful at preparing them for the future.  
 
I have at least one teacher who makes me excited about the future.  
 
My school is committed to building strengths in every student.

My assumptions would be that when students believe those two statements are true, they begin to see that what they are learning is relevant to their futures.  And they believe that a school that cares about the growth of every student certainly cares about their growth as well.  When students see connections between their classes and the skills they will need in the future, and they believe their teachers cares about them personally, they respond with greater motivation and engagement.

Last year we started a mentor program where each OHS faculty member serves as a mentor for 5-6 freshmen or sophomores.  These mentors help students explore careers and in the process help students to see how what they are learning in high school is important to their futures.  If this program is executed well, we think it has the potential to address these to survey prompts in a rather systematic manner.  Quality mentoring with small groups of students will give us the opportunity to help students get excited about their own personal futures, and in the process they will see that we genuinely do care about building strengths in every one of our students.  

We learned a lot in our first year of the mentor program, and we think the strengths of this program are that each teacher can really connect with each student they have because the mentor groups are so small (5-6 students), and because our Student Led Conferences are a central part of the career exploration process, and this brings students, parents and mentors together in these important discussions.  

We still have a lot to learn to tap the full potential of this program, but we feel we are on the right track.  If parents have any advice for us on how we can improve our mentoring program, please contact us and share your ideas.

Enjoy the fall colors while they last,

Scott