What Are We Really Doing When We Think?

By Bill Madigan, AVID Staff Developer

“In my experience, my education as a psychologist and neuroscientist was pretty much a waste.  Everything I was taught in the seventies has now been proven wrong: the ‘deficit’ model of psychology that meant all we did as therapists is find out what was wrong with you; There was no knowledge of neurogenesis or brain plasticity. We were taught you had a finite number of cells and that no new cells were ever generated throughout the rest of your life. And, finally, we knew nothing of ‘epigenetics,’ or that brain genes were affected by the environment in which the brain was growing – that gene expression was affected by how you are treated in the environment you grow up in. We were in a dark age of understanding.”

– Louis Cozolino, Learning and the Brain Conference, San Francisco, 2013

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Zoe’s Top Five Rules for New AVID Students and Elective Teachers  

By Jonathan Petrick, AVID Elective Teacher & Coordinator, and Zoe Harrigan, AVID Student, Ramstein Middle School, Germany  

Have no fear, the AVID Experts are here! As we provide support to students who may not have always had a voice with their path to success, it is important that we listen to those students for advice and encouragement along our path as educators. AVID Elective teachers and coordinators can tell you that having an interdisciplinary site team is a huge advantage when the path to success is looking impossible. They will also tell you that having a few experts that have ‘walked the walk’ with AVID is greatly valued. Now I’m talking about our real experts…students! What do our students think? What advice can they offer for other students and educators looking at the plethora of updated forms, curriculum, trainings, and professional conferences and sometimes feeling overwhelmed? Enter Zoe.

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Connecting Students to the Real World: The Careers Alive Museum

By Carrie Schindler, Teacher, Franklin Primary School

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For me, that was an easy question. From the time I was about 8 years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. So, when I posed that question to my 5th graders, I was really surprised by the number of students who didn’t have any interest in a career.

This was during the first year for AVID at our school, and my grade level team began to consider our students’ lack of career knowledge and AVID’s push for college readiness.  How could we tie the two together? One of my team members, Angela Watkins, came up with the idea for a career museum. Once we discussed this plan, we were off and running.

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AVID Teacher Gives Students Roots and Wings

by John Hines, AVID Elective Teacher & Coordinator, Todd Beamer High School

As part of my summer reading, I finished a New York Times Corner Office interview with Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon. In this interview, what stuck out to me the most was the favorite expression of Kat Cole’s mother, “Don’t ever forget where you came from, but don’t you dare let it define you.” As an AVID teacher helping many students become the first in their family to graduate from college, I find that this advice is critical.

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Don’t Call Them Dropouts

By Sandy Husk, CEO, AVID Center

As we engaged in our weeklong Commit to Student Success campaign, it was gratifying to see the participation of our AVID campuses across the nation. Our Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as other social media networks, were lit up with photos of AVID students and site teams engaged in academic and community activities focused on what success looks like, issuing thanks to those who support them, and making good use of the toolkit that we created for the campaign. It is clear that AVID is touching many lives in a positive way across entire campuses nationwide.

Nevertheless, I am still concerned that we are not doing enough.

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