On Tuesday, Feb 9th, there was a 20-minute interactive session with special guest Robert Pruitt, a motivational speaker and certified spiritual life coach. In this special virtual event, the Peterson School students were invited to take a “Life Quiz” designed to reveal the great importance of using their own words in an academic setting. Kevin Fuchs, International University Guidance Counselor at the Peterson Schools, was one of the organizers and we had the opportunity to interview him about this extraordinary life-changing experience.
Using somebody else’s words without crediting them is plagiarism, whether you do it on purpose or not. Plagiarism is a very sensitive issue that can lead to serious consequences, particularly for students. Engaging in academic dishonesty could often result in failure on an assignment, course failure, suspension, or even expulsion, which only reveals how crucially important it is to avoid this common (and frequently misunderstood) problem.
Since students are now studying from home where they have the world’s entire academic writing at their fingertips, it is only natural that students feel sorely tempted to cheat in their assignments. Fuchs, who is also an IB Global Politics teacher, has noticed how often his students struggle to understand something and rewrite it in their own words. This is often the result of a lack of knowledge, guidance, skills or confidence at a young age. In the interview, he actually pointed out how essential it is to have an increasing number of students “who think strategically” from an early age and how it is his responsibility, as a teacher, to encourage them to use their beautiful minds and write original work. He truly believes that by experiencing the overwhelming satisfaction and gratification of coming up with something of their own, they can finally stop looking for short-term solutions to complete their assignments.
As this is a pressing issue that needs to be tackled as soon as possible and Fuchs had recently been offered a workshop by the NSCL, he found it the perfect opportunity to direct students’ attention towards academic honesty. The National Student Leadership Conference is an organization that offers a number of academic programs focused on leadership and team-building skills to prepare students for the future, which is also exactly what Fuchs intends to do by organizing and offering pre-college workshops and webinars. It seems to be his part of his life’s purpose, something he believes will leave a lasting and profound impact in his students’ lives.
According to Fuchs, there is a growing number of students who are interested in studying abroad. In a recent counseling session, he discovered that around 15 out of 50 students genuinely wanted to explore the existing opportunities of going to an American university. Due to this discovery, he came to the resolution that, as a college counselor, his students need him to be more available and present for students to feel more comfortable and motivated to reach out. He wants to make sure that students are fully aware of the fact that they can have a better shot at being admitted at an international university if they attend and participate in webinars, workshops and conferences from an early age. This expressed interest in going to college is what university admission officers look for when shortlisting and selecting applicants.
All these powerful reasons motivated Fuchs to hold this special virtual event for the Peterson Schools. The event was hosted by motivational speaker Robert Pruitt and it became a successful and entertaining experience for all attendees. Fuchs wanted him to focus on the journey of education and the great satisfaction of fully understanding new concepts and ideas and expressing yourself authentically. He also wanted Pruitt to let them know that teachers are there to support them no matter what, regardless of a pandemic that has kept us physically apart for over a year. As stated in the interview, the goal was met.
With that purpose in mind, Fuchs is also organizing an International Career Day for April 23rd, in which college professors will teach classes and provide students with a glimpse of how university works. Undoubtedly, that probably is just one of the many mentoring virtual events planned for the Peterson Schools students this year that will spark their enthusiasm for learning and deepening their understanding.
Here are some additional resources you might find interesting:
- Here's the video recap of the interview with Kevin Fuchs:
- Here's the recording of the virtual event with special guest Rober Pruitt:
- Here's Robert Pruitt's playful promo video:
- Here's a video about NSLC's high school summer programs: