Was Frankenstein’s monster what the scientist was really looking to create? Did the scientist believe that by harvesting a variety of body parts and piecing them together he would create a pathetic creature that was viewed by the neighbors as frightening and evil? Did he think that by creating a “bride” for his Frankenstein he would remedy that problem? Had he really thought through the “end” he desired or was he so blinded by his need to “create life” that he could not see the inevitable end?
It is important that we really consider the “end in mind” when we plan our yearly program. It is important to remember that the end in mind is not creating a “robust 4th grader”. Being in 4th grade lasts for only 180 days, and then the youth is on to the next level. So we could think of the “end” as a series of annual goals and that each year is a piece of the continuum that is preparing youth to be well-rounded, caring and capable adults. This long-view will help us to consider both the “real end” as well as the annual benchmarks.
When planning, it is also important to remember that afterschool programs are not the only thing that influence youth. We need to contemplate what the school day will be doing, what’s going on in the community and the neighborhood, the stability of families, and so on. While these things should not dictate the “end in mind”, they will either support or detract from the accomplishment of the goals we set for the year. So with this understanding, you are encouraged to begin with the bite-sized chunk of the school year, asking, “If I could only accomplish one thing this school year, what would it be?” Then double check to be sure that this year’s goal will help achieve the ultimate goal of more well-rounded youth and young adults who are capable of giving back to society and their friends and families.
Remember, we don’t need to create a Frankenstein Monster. We need to support youth as they are learning more and becoming an adult that will know him or herself, contribute to the team (personal or professional) they find themselves a part of, and give back to society. If you need more help with planning, contact Consult 4 Kids at firstname.lastname@example.org . Our team of trainers and consultants might be just what you heed to jump start into planning with the end in mind.