Pictured below are the students in Ms. Remaklus’ Personal Growth and Positive Mindset class: (left to right) Moriah Griffiths, Layla Logan, Josh Funez, Adam Stahl, Braelyx Bartley, Devyn Haller, and Alfonso Casiano. (Photo/Emily Remaklus, special to The Paulding County Progress)
The 2022-2023 school year is now underway at Paulding High School, and with a new year comes some new changes. This year Paulding High School is offering a new English elective class called Personal Growth and Positive Mindset. The class came about as an extension of the school district’s 7 Mindsets curriculum, a program that was implemented in the school district a few years ago to help students with self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

Emily Remaklus, the teacher for the new Personal Growth and Positive Mindset class, found that she had some students who really enjoyed the 7 Mindsets curriculum and the discussions that came from the lessons. She had previously taken graduate classes focused on the skills that 7 Mindsets teaches, so starting up this class was a great opportunity.

The Personal Growth and Positive Mindset class uses literature, such as graphic novels, memoirs, poetry, and film as models for discussion on various topics. Along with the classroom lessons, the class has also started up a mentoring program.

Remaklus explained that she really wanted her students to have the chance to be leaders in the school and to help make a positive impact on others. At the end of last year, Devyn Haller, a sophomore enrolled in the class, suggested starting a mentoring program. When asked why he suggested incorporating a mentoring program with the class, Haller stated, “I like having an influence on people. I want kids to be better than what they think they can be. I want to influence them to go on and do good things. And I like watching the progress and seeing how much people have changed.”

After running the idea by Mr. Etzler and other district administrators, the program got the go-ahead and started this month. At the start of the year, The Personal Growth and Positive Mindset students underwent training on how to be an effective mentor. They were then each partnered up with a fourth grader that they will meet with a couple times a month during their class period. Mentors and mentees will spend that time talking, playing games, doing crafts, and working on projects.

The goal of the mentoring program is for the mentors to grow as individuals and as leaders in the school and community. And as for the mentees, the hope is that they will feel they have found a new friend in their mentor, and they will become more confident and self-aware.

Emily Remaklus is an English teacher at Paulding High School.