Pikes Peak Online School (PPOS) is a K12-powered school in Colorado for at-risk students. As I pointed out in my previous blog, it is an important first step to think of at-risk students as at-promise students. However, when the entire population of students is at-promise, it is essential to develop an encompassing strategy and appropriate pedagogy for that population. In this blog, I want to describe the strategy and practice we use at PPOS to encourage promise, potential and success.
Early in the 2015 school year, all PPOS teachers and staff were required to complete Capturing Kids’ Hearts training. This training was required by our authorizer, CD BOCES (Colorado Digital Board of Cooperative Education Service). Training consisted of an initial three-day workshop to learn the CKH program, with subsequent follow-up training for selected “Process Champions.” Having attended many, many workshops and training sessions in my 40-year teaching career, I can honestly say our Capturing Kids‘ Hearts training may have made the greatest impact on my teaching practice.
“Capturing Kids’ Hearts shows teachers how to create high-achieving centers of learning by strengthening students’ connectedness to others through enhancing healthy bonds with their teachers and establishing collaborative agreements of acceptable behavior,” explained Lynn Bray, our CKH trainer from the Flippen Group.
Capturing Kids’ Hearts is a process that is working in thousands of classrooms across the country. During our training, we learned how to build meaningful, productive relationships with our students and colleagues; how to create a safe, effective environment for learning; how to develop self-managing, high-performing classrooms using team-building skills and a social contract; and techniques for dealing with conflict, negative behavior and disrespect issues.
“Give us a teacher who’s passionate about their subject, a teacher who cares for the welfare and success of their students, and we’ll give that teacher the tools they need to engage and challenge students, and raise them to a higher level of performance,” Lynn pledges.
In working with our at-promise student population, it is important to have strategies and practice in place. At PPOS, our daily practices center on the mindful implementation of the core strategies within Capturing Kids’ Hearts. Our behavior, words, and actions with students and learning coaches aim to develop student promise, potential, and success.