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Enough

When we compare ourselves to others, we’re not making an accurate comparison because we’re only going off the information we have access to

Grief

It is important to understand that grief is not a linear process.  We do not start at one stage and then progress through to the final stage.  Instead, grief is cyclical.  It is entirely possible that one will reach acceptance, and then one of life’s milestones occurs like a wedding or graduation, and suddenly we are angry or sad again. 

HELP!

Last week I reached out to parents to ask how they were coping with the current global situation.  Overwhelmingly I heard, "I'm doing fine, I just am not sure how to help my child".

F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D

Trying to maintain your "normal" routine right now is unhealthy, because what we are experiencing is not normal.  Trying to go on as if nothing has changed is invalidating and can actually invite trauma to manifest in alternate ways. 

SEISEN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Learning to Love, Loving to Learn

April Attribute of the Month: Knowledge

Seisen News

April Attribute of the Month: Knowledge
Cristina Varriale

I cannot think of a great opportunity for learning than what we are all experiencing right now.  We are all learning new ways to teach and learn.  We are all learning new ways to connect with others without physical contact.  We are all learning new ways to be alone or be with our partner or be with our family.

Over the course of this school year, we have been using advisory and PSHE time to examine and reflect on in greater depth the attributes of the IB learner profile.  We had decided that because of IB and IGCSE exams, it made sense for April's attribute to be knowledge.  So much has changed since that decision has been made, yet it still feels totally appropriate to move forward with reflecting on this attribute.

When I was working on my Master's degree, I remember one of my professors talking about his pet peeve of people entering the world of teaching because they love kids.  His response would always be, "If you love kids, you should have them.  If you want to teach, you need to love LEARNING".  I found his words harsh, at first, yet the sentiment is not lost on me.  Personally, I think both must be true.  To be an excellent teacher, you must both love children AND love learning.  

I cannot think of a great opportunity for learning than what we are all experiencing right now.  We are all learning new ways to teach and learn.  We are all learning new ways to connect with others without physical contact.  We are all learning new ways to be alone or be with our partner or be with our family.

For the past five years, I have been leading Positive Discipline workshops for parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators.  One of the activities I facilitate in each workshop involves inviting parents/teachers to make a list of the life skills and characteristics they would like to see in their children/students when they are adults.  Time and again, the same words come up: honest, loving, independent, resilient, good communicator, problem solver, kind, good humored, and so on.  In five years, and after facilitating these workshops in multiple countries and continents, I have NEVER seen any of the following: wealthy, top of their class, ivy league graduate.  In fact, only once, did I ever even see the word "successful". 

How do people develop these traits? Where are they learned? In my experience, I have found the most effective ways of teaching these traits is through modeling them.  What an incredible opportunity we have been handed right now to start modeling some of these skills! 

I used the last couple of PSHE classes to facilitate virtual class meetings with my students.  I wanted them to have the time and space to share how they are feeling with everything that is going on.  Some shared their fears about loved ones getting sick.  Others shared their sadness about missing out on fun times with friends.  I then asked them to share what they felt grateful for, and over and over again, I heard things like, "I'm grateful for my parents and my family", "I'm grateful for my teachers", "I'm grateful I still have the opportunity to learn", and "I'm grateful that I feel safe".  I then asked them to share what skills they may be learning, and I heard things like time management, self-discipline, and creativity.  

It is important to acknowledge that life feels very uncertain at the moment and to allow your loved ones the time and space to talk about their feelings. It is equally important to take hold of this opportunity that we have all been given to slow down and truly be present to each other.  So much of life's learning happens outside of the classroom!  Why not take this opportunity to teach your child how to cook or do the laundry or how to make a budget? Students, why not take this opportunity to teach your parents how to do the latest Tik Tok dance or how to make an Instagram story? Why not play "Oprah" and interview each other to try and learn something new about a member of your own family?  I am sure there are many hilarious stories or secret dreams that have never been shared.

Please use this month to reflect on knowledge and learning.  What do you already know, and what have you always wanted to know?  What are your learning about your family?  What are you learning about yourself? And please remember that we are safe and this is going to pass.

Enough

When we compare ourselves to others, we’re not making an accurate comparison because we’re only going off the information we have access to

Grief

It is important to understand that grief is not a linear process.  We do not start at one stage and then progress through to the final stage.  Instead, grief is cyclical.  It is entirely possible that one will reach acceptance, and then one of life’s milestones occurs like a wedding or graduation, and suddenly we are angry or sad again. 

HELP!

Last week I reached out to parents to ask how they were coping with the current global situation.  Overwhelmingly I heard, "I'm doing fine, I just am not sure how to help my child".

F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D

Trying to maintain your "normal" routine right now is unhealthy, because what we are experiencing is not normal.  Trying to go on as if nothing has changed is invalidating and can actually invite trauma to manifest in alternate ways. 

April Attribute of the Month: Knowledge

I cannot think of a great opportunity for learning than what we are all experiencing right now.  We are all learning new ways to teach and learn.  We are all learning new ways to connect with others without physical contact.  We are all learning new ways to be alone or be with our partner or be with our family.

What If?

 Talking through the “what if”s is validating because you are creating space to listen. Using reflective listening, you are able to convey empathy.  Another reason this strategy is effective is because it allows the person to think about the tools she or he already possesses and how she/he can use those tools to get through whatever they are fearing.

Jiggle Friday

As I was cycling around my neighborhood yesterday, I noticed two of the sakura trees had bloomed.  So of course I stopped, got off my bike, and snapped a picture.  And it was a great reminder of how even when the world feels like it is in chaos, we can still count on nature to reassure us

Go to the Mat!

There is a famous line in Francis Ford Coppolla's, 1972 Academy Award winning film "The Godfather", that says, "We go the mattresses".  This line was made famous again in Nora Ephron's 1998 romantic comedy, "You've Got Mail".  Essentially, "go to the mattresses" is an expression that means to prepare for battle.

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