Trying something for the first time is never easy. It is especially challenging when you are in the 8th grade, and about to graduate. Reflection is something I try to do every day. Dreaming is something else I try to do daily (Ah yes…the boat I will drive someday as a charter fisherman in retirement). It is good to reflect and dream.
This year, our 8th graders did just that as they prepared and presented their Capstone Leadership Presentations. Our Profile of a Graduate of The Woods Academy was the backdrop for the reflections. Specifically, O-W-L-S. Where was I Open to growth? Where was I Willing to live my faith? Where was I a Leader in my community? And, where did I Strive for a just and joyous life? The 8th graders reflected back on where they lived the profile during their years at The Woods. The also looked forward by by answering the question, “How will I lead a life of significance?”
Reflect and dream. It is as simple as that. Yet, it is so profound too. There is no way to truly measure the impact of this exercise. Wow! was the first word that came to my mind when I thought about the experience after all 25 graduates presented. A simple, yet profound exercise led to some of the best reflections, dreams and even self critiques I have ever heard from 13 year-olds. Enjoy this short video below from one of our stars. It highlights the deep thinking, gratitude and commitment that was put into this exercise. It also shows what our students are like as they graduate from The Woods Academy. Pretty impressive! In all honesty, I could have videoed every one of the members of the Class of 2014 and posted a clip from each. They were that good.
Now go forth. Reflect, dream and combine the words “what” and “if.” Deep thoughts from an 8th grader.