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defining student outcomes through teacher reflection

Designed by Dr. Yorel Lashley, Director of Arts, School of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison

How do you define the impacts and experiences you hope to create for students in your learning space?

Dr. Yorel Lashley, Director of Arts at the School of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison, suggests writing a letter addressed to a student or loved one that “defines the objectives and experiences your work with students is designed to create.” He expands on this by stating that “for many of us, these are the same hopes, dreams and motivations that led us toward teaching as a calling. This the “End Game” of our work as formal and informal educators– it goes beyond the academic content to the very essence of what we hope our students will experience as growth opportunities, and nurturing support in preparation for life.” 

Using the template below, set aside 10 minutes for yourself to write your letter and consider how this exercise might impact or shape your teaching environment. Dr. Lashley encourages Teaching Artists to continually revisit this letter and “what you love about teaching and the ways you want to support each student’s growth and development.”

Youth Development Outcomes Letter Template

Dear [young loved one],

I hope that when you go to school you have an atmosphere that allows you to [write here]. 

I hope that you build relationships with your teachers and friends that make you feel [write here]. 

I hope you are treated [write here]. 

I hope you learn to treat others [write here]. 

When you are successful or do well, I hope your teachers [write here]. 

When you struggle or even fail, I hope your teachers [write here]. 

Even when things are not easy, I hope that you’ve built relationships with peers and teachers that help you develop life skills including [write here] that will help you become the [write here] person I know you can be.


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