by Evan Kurtz, Head of Middle School
Yesterday the Middle School and Lower School came together for our first BUDEE session of the year. An acronym for Be Understanding, Dedicated, Empathetic, and Engaged, our first gathering proved to be all of the above.
It can be challenging for Middle School students to be understanding of younger students, but I witnessed many of them connecting and communicating with their younger classmates. It was impressive how they were able to speak with the lower schoolers on their level while avoiding “babying” them.
Middle School students showed both dedication and empathy as they worked on the “get to know you” project with their Lower School buddies. Ask a 6th grader about the patience required to work with a kindergartener – that’s dedication! Empathy was on full display as 7th graders took to the floor, or filled small chairs to occupy the same physical space as the 2nd graders. This empathy will grow as buddies discuss issues in future meetings that each of them faces, albeit in their own ways.
These traits will continue as they remain engaged with the BUDEE program each month. I look forward to watching each relationship grow as students form bonds which will make our campus stronger and more together. Each Middle School student will also gain insights into their leadership style and skills from their work with their buddies, skills which will serve them well in many situations to come.
Originally Presented at Lower School Curriculum Night
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
My name is Nicole Girvan, and this is my fourth year as Head of Lower School and eleventh as a division director. I shared this with my lower school families at our recent Curriculum Night and wanted it to be available for anyone who was unable to attend or for those in other divisions as it is relevant for every parent.
Two years ago, I shared a Ted Talk about grit and the importance of perseverance by Angela Duckworth, and this year I want to briefly talk about the notion of independence, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence. I recently viewed another Ted Talk given by Julie Lythcott-Haims about over-parenting. She does a remarkable job stressing the importance of allowing those teachable moments and life lessons for our children. She shares how important it is for parents to avoid defining their child’s worth by their grades. More importantly, Ms. Lythcott-Haims talks about how parents need to build self-efficacy in children.
The weekend of the Back to Prep Bash, my husband and I dropped off our oldest son at boarding school. In one of the orientation sessions, the school psychologist told us that our role as parents has shifted and it may cause discomfort. The gist of the presentation is that parents of middle and upper school students are moving away from being “managers” to more like “consultants.” When the kids are young, parents manage their schedules, including after-school activities and playdates and sometimes even the circle of friends. However, as the kids get older, they do not need (nor want) us to “manage” them, and thus the shift to the role of “consultant” begins.
Continue reading “Resiliency and Self-Efficacy”
Tweens and teens can lead secret social media lives. How do parents and schools promote social media wellness?
On September 18, Charlotte Prep will welcome author and educator Ana Homayoun for a Parent Education Series event that will focus on some of the modern parenting dilemmas in the age of the smartphone. (The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School Mezzanine. RSVP online.) Ana’s work, which is grounded in research and based on more than 15 years of working with students, offers practical solutions for students, parents, and educators as they navigate the ever-changing issues involving social networking and healthy child and teen development.
Ana will share advice from her latest book, Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World. The book explores how the digital balancing act affects all aspects of our lives and personal wellness, and for students impacts academic abilities and social well-being as well as emotional and physical health.
Continue reading “Social Media Tool Kit”