(Adapted from Doing Poorly on Purpose, James R. Delisle)
There are a variety of techniques and strategies whose goal is to make an A. The A designation may seem to be a letter grade that indicates excellence, but the deeper meaning of making an A is an appreciation of the various ways we can accomodate our styles and strategies to allow students to experience success-academic and otherwise-on their own terms.
Here's what this entails:
Autonomy: How can we help students engage and become "masters of their universe" with respect to what education is and what it might become?
Access: How do we work with students to identify curricular challenges that are both meaningful and interesting?
Advocacy: How can we guide students toward becoming an advocate for their own education and empower them to become their own spokesperson?
Alternatives: What new-horizon options (e.g., home, school, independent study, online courses) might we appropriate with students for whom traditional school is bad fit?
Aspirations: How can we acknowledge and respect out students' dreams and help them to achieve their personal goals?
Approachable Educators: What personal and professional dispositions can we display that invite our students to want to lear?