Who I Am: Volume I
ISBN: 978-1880463-85-7 | Publication: 2023 | Pages 160 • $15.95
Foreword – Lewis Brinson, Ed.D.
I have been an educator all of my adult life and have taught in the classroom, served as a middle school principal, and now serve as the Minority Achievement Officer for Pinellas County Schools in Largo, Florida. I brought Mr. Wynn’s College Planning Cohort Program to our district because I believed that underserved and marginalized students needed to be inspired to dream big and guided by the information to achieve their dreams and aspirations for the future. Not only does the content of this book, as part of the comprehensive on-line curriculum that has guided our students, but the student testimonials of how their embrace and application of the information provide evidence of how students have been inspired and informed.
Many of the students who have shared their comments, insight, and testimonials are served by Title I Federal Programs. While Title I students, particularly at the middle school level, are oftentimes considered to “only” be in need of social skills and study skills support, I share a belief with Mr. Wynn that all students need to have a context for learning. The context that he advocates—one in which I am 100 percent in agreement—is that students should see K — 12 schooling as preparation for life after high school.
All students, regardless of where they come from, their socioeconomic status, cultural background, or current achievement level can benefit from learning about how they learn and developing learning style plans to become better learners. When a 10th grade student, particularly a male student, writes:
I am in the program to gain insight into the college preparation process. To help me develop my college playbook and the necessary skills that will be needed when it’s time to complete applications, essays, etc., for colleges and scholarships. This program will allow me to rise and stand out above others. Positioning me to attend Georgia Tech—my top college choice. [p. 6]
We must be on the right track. However, as an educator, I am well aware that our focus is always driven by data. So when I look at the data of the student. I see that the student first affirmed Florida State as his top college choice as a 9th grader. He then affirmed Georgia Tech as his top college choice as a 10th grader. By affirming such selective schools, he has aligned his course taking with his post-high school aspirations. He has taken 6 honors classes as a 9th grader; 4 honors classes and AP Computer Science Principles as a 10th grader; and has 8 planned AP classes during the 11th and 12th grades. Currently, he has earned A’s in all classes. In my role as the Minority Achievement Officer, this is the data that I am tracking and these are the outcomes that Mr. Wynn has achieved with students in our district and in districts across the country. I have found him to be a visionary who not only thinks outside of the box, but who believes in the capacity of young people—all young people. As reflected in this book, Mr. Wynn has successfully and effectively brought students together from diverse backgrounds, geographical regions, school settings, and ability levels. He has fostered norms and cultivated an environment in which all students feel that they are not only in safe spaces, but surrounded by people who are pulling for their futures and who want them to pursue becoming the best versions of themselves.
I believe that this book and the additional volumes are already proven. They simply represent printed versions of an on-line curriculum that is already well established and supported by indisputable data of what is possible when students are invested in their own learning. I admittedly raised an eyebrow when Mr. Wynn told me that students did not receive grades for completing their work, that their assessment was received in the form of a monthly peer review as they presented their college-bound plans as they were evolving. However, when I read the comments of a 6th grader who is affirming a desire to attend such schools as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and MIT, and who internalizes being invested in her own learning as essential to pursuing her future aspirations, I am convinced that Mr. Wynn is on to something.
My dream job has always been to be some kind of engineer. A few months ago I started debate and I enjoyed it so much. Then I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. When I am older I want to go to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton if I decide I want to become a lawyer. If I decide to become an engineer I want to go to MIT. These are hard schools to get into but by joining the Emerging Leaders Program, I think that I may be a few steps closer than I was before. [p. 23]
This book is more than developing a learning style plan. It is about inspiring students to dream of a future filled with possibilities and in their capacity to learn what is needed to turn their dreams into reality.
Lewis Brinson, Ed.D.
Minority Achievement Officer
Pinellas County Schools
Table of Contents:
- Student Contributors
- Foreword – Lewis Brinson, Ed.D.
- For Educators
- For Parents
- For Students
- How To Use This Book
- The Socratic Method
- Chapter 1: Why I Am Here
- Chapter 2: My Story
- Depression, Anxiety, and more…
- Points of Contact Illustration
- Chapter 3: My Learning Style
- Global Learning Styles Table
- Analytic Learning Styles Table
- 21 Learning-style Elements
- Circadian Cycle
- Chapter 4: Male-Female Brain Differences
- Female Brains
- Male Brains
- Chapter 5: How I Am Smart
- Giftedness Illustration
- Multiple Intelligences Illustration
- Final Chapter: My Learning Style Plan
- 4 Students – 4 Learning Style Plans
- Other Books