La Joya Students on EduGuide

With support from the Greater Texas Foundation, we recently wrapped up the first year of the EduGuide program in La Joya Independent School District in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas. We had a chance to visit one of the La Joya schools to ask students what they thought of the program, and this is what they had to say:

EduGuide regularly collects feedback from students who complete our activities, and these comments are typical of what students in schools across the country are telling us. Here are a few more quotes from actual students using EduGuide:


To learn more about EduGuide and how it can make a difference for your students, please schedule a meeting with our team.



EduGuide Supports Social Emotional Learning Needs in Wexford

By Laurie McKay, Special Education Supervisor at Wexford Missaukee Intermediate School District

wexford_mapThe Wexford Missaukee Intermediate School District’s classroom programs for students with emotional impairments have just completed our second year of EduGuide’s Curriculum.  EduGuide has been easy, enjoyable and highly applicable to our students, especially with emotional impairments.  EduGuide is not a special education curriculum.  Rather, it is a tier-one intervention curriculum that we were easily able to modify to meet our students’ needs.  Students learn the value of persevering under pressure through this curriculum.

We have integrated EduGuide with both English Language Arts and Affective lessons.  The coaches preview the materials to help the students self-reflect, discuss and ‘mentor’ a fictitious student through the weekly lesson.  In our program, self-regulation and understanding of emotions play a pivotal role in all academics.  EduGuide provides a supportive arena to discuss these important components, while giving us common vocabulary and experiences to reach deeper understanding of the issues for both coaches and students.

EduGuide provides technical and content support, as well as qualitative and quantitative metrics to help assess our effectiveness and our students’ growth.  The staff is friendly, very helpful and quick to respond.  We have found EduGuide to be an invaluable part of our affective program.  I highly recommend this curriculum.

If you think EduGuide would be a good fit for your classroom, please schedule a personal tour


Flush Your Brain

Most students experience sleep deprivation at least once in their educational careers. However, a routine lack of sleep can have detrimental impacts on student health, and can wreak havoc on their ability to learn.

Our brains need sleep to flush out toxins. And if our brains don’t get to flush out toxins, we can find ourselves literally walking around with gunk in our heads. That makes it more difficult to focus, and can drastically diminish the brain’s ability to take in new information.

But perhaps most ironic is that as we grow more tired, we think less clearly and become less able to judge how it’s affecting our performance. Studies have shown that people who think they have adapted to getting as little as six hours of sleep are actually going downhill on performance tests without realizing it.

Students using EduGuide report that they are taking steps to get more sleep. Through activities exploring the human brain and how sleep affects it, EduGuide encourages students to prioritize rest and get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to flush out toxins. Our activities help them think about changing their schedule, lifestyle, and habits to achieve extraordinary health and learning benefits related to the aspects of their lives they care about most.

If you’re interested in more of the ways EduGuide helps students develop better habits and noncognitive skills, please schedule an appointment for a walk-through of our program:


Building A Community Of Purpose.

“Tired, stressed and bored.” A  2015 national survey found those are the three most common words students use to describe how they feel in school. How did the institution designed to get students engaged in learning become the place where they get turned off of it? And how do we turn that around?


It starts with helping our students and our schools deepen their sense of purpose. Research by Dr. David Yeager and colleagues with a large sample of urban students found that those with a more self-transcendent purpose for their learning — such as wanting to learn so that they could help others — not only studied harder and scored higher than their peers, they also persisted longer in pursuing their goals: they were twice as likely to still be in college one year after high school.

EduGuide’s nonprofit mission is to provide tools to help you help students build the mindsets and skills to fulfill their purpose. And we are also partnering with schools and colleges to become communities of purpose, where everyone on campus learns to coach each other to bring out their best. If you would like to learn more about our partner program, we would be happy to schedule a time to give you a tour.


The Importance of Failure

Some of the greatest success stories of our time are actually failure stories.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television.” Steve Jobs was unceremoniously removed from the first company he started. And Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

What would’ve happened if they had just given up after their initial failures? Share this video with your students to help them gain some new perspective on the importance of failure:

When students encounter new challenges or setbacks, they too often give up. They tell themselves they aren’t smart or talented enough. Instead of seeing the failure as a lesson, they see it as a mistake. You don’t repeat a mistake — you stop. You don’t bother with things you’re not good at. You don’t risk embarrassing yourself. In the academic world, that translates to giving up on an assignment…a class…or even school, in general.

In her extensive research, Stanford Psychology professor Carol Dweck has found it’s possible to teach students to respond more positively to failures. With the right coaching, we can all learn to see a wrong answer, a bad grade, or even rejection from an authority figure not as failures, but as steps on a path to success.

Understanding that it’s okay to fail can be a world-altering concept for young people, and EduGuide uses videos such as this one to reinforce this idea for the students who participate in our program. Our interactive, online activities get students thinking about how they can apply these ideas to their own lives every day. They become less afraid of trying new things and taking on new challenges, whether that’s a difficult subject in school or completing a college degree.

To learn more about EduGuide’s activities and how we can partner to benefit your students, please request a partnership plan at


Activity: Motivation Through Core Purpose

MLKOne of the biggest challenges we face in education is student motivation. How do we convince someone who seems disinterested — or seems to have given up — to care about doing well in a math or English class, or preparing for college and a career?

As educators, we can wear ourselves out trying to convince a student that a particular assignment or class is important, trying to make our values and motivations theirs. Most of the time, it’s an exercise in futility.

Here’s a different approach: we can help them understand who they are, their goals, and how education supports those goals. What motivates them, deep down. Their own, personal core purpose.

Research by Dr. David Yeager indicates that when students spend time building their core purpose, their academic outcomes go up, and they are more likely to persist toward a degree. That’s a key part of what students do in EduGuide’s program, so we wanted to share a free, printable activity you can use to get your students started in this process.

It’s based on a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called “The Drum Major Instinct.” In this speech, King articulates his own core purpose: the legacy for which he wants to be remembered, after his death.

EduGuide Core Purpose Activity

EduGuide Core Purpose Activity Guide

Part of this activity asks students to reflect on and articulate their core purpose in terms of the difference they want to make for others and the legacy they want to leave behind. It also asks them to think about education and how it might support those goals. To see how some students answered these questions through creative videos, check out our 2015 EduGuide Challenge winners.

coremotivationEduGuide helps schools, colleges and other groups across the country develop the noncognitive and social-emotional skills that motivate students to reach their goals. One of the most critical of these is core purpose. This print activity is just one week’s lesson in EduGuide’s multi-year curriculum. We’ve found that 15 minutes or more per week building core purpose and other core learning skills through our interactive platform can have a profound impact on student behavior and motivation. And we hope this activity helps your students begin that process, too.


Building Bridges in Our Brains

Do your students ever get turned off by challenging work?

Just learning how we learn can help them feel less intimidated by even the most daunting assignments. Here’s a video you can share with your students, to give them a powerful metaphor for understanding their own minds:

Often, learning something new seems beyond the student’s reach. Their first attempts are the hardest. They make mistakes. But the more they work at it, the stronger they build that bridge — a neural pathway — in their brains, and the easier it gets. Eventually, they can recall and apply what they learned whenever they want; it’s as natural to them as remembering their own names.

EduGuide’s program to build student grit and other noncognitive skills includes several activities related to basic neuroscience and neuroplasticity. Students in EduGuide’s program tend to rank our activity related to this video highly, and we’ve seen this perspective make a difference in how they approach difficult tasks.

Try the video out with your students, and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

And if you’re interested in learning more about EduGuide’s activities, please schedule a meeting with our team for a personal walkthrough of our program: