The I’m Determined project, a state-directed initiative funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior beginning at the elementary level and continuing through the student’s educational career.
The self-determined student knows how to set and achieve goals and has a greater understanding of personal strengths and how to get support for areas of need. The hallmark of the self-determination project is the aha moment, the point when student, educator and/or parent sees how the development of these skills leads to improved academic and personal outcomes.
This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities, to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger. Teachers report seeing the aha moment in students to be one of the greatest rewards of their career.
Check out the I’m Determined website for resources to help reinforce positive self-determination skills and behaviors with students and youth.