I feel as if we are all witnesses drastic changes occurring in the adolescents. A book that has been very helpful for me is called "Brainstorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain," by Daniel J. Siegel. This book addresses both the physiological and psychological changes occurring at this time of development as well as providing practical tools with how to cope with them as a parent or a teacher. This book was a required read for my certification and I believe you may find it useful!
I want to address the recent changes to our lunch and recess policies on North Campus. Previous to these changes, the A1 community joined E2 for lunch and recess. We have decided to have the A1 community have their own lunch and recess times. While there have been reports of behavioral issues occurring at recess, this is not the MAIN reason JoAnn and I have made these changes.
The overarching reason behind these changes is that is has become evident that the adolescents are on a different developmental plane than the 4th-6th graders. This melding was easier at the beginning of the year because the adolescents came in as 6th graders who had not developed into 7th graders yet (the third plane of development). Around Christmas time, we began to see how this procedure was not supporting the students or the guides properly.
Not only were there conflicts between the younger students and the older students, but the age gap was creating disruptions in the E2 classroom structure as well. While this is a difficult situation to handle given our small adolescent community, we believe these changes help support the student at the plane of development they are currently at, and doing otherwise would be detrimental to their growth.
We are currently having lunch in our own classroom but the 6th graders join us in our room for lunch every Friday. The adolescents still have complete freedom to work in E2 during the day and will be joining E2 for their various physical education programs on Fridays as well as working with them in preparing for Mass and Benediction and other joint events. We provide the adolescents the opportunity for physical movement during recess times and will work on developing a procedure where they can have flexibility with what and where their recess looks like to support their physical education needs as well.
Thanks for walking with us as we figure out these policies and procedures in this year of building and transition. We will continue to update you as to these developments and changes.
I am excited to announce our first Adolescent Odyssey trip where we will be traveling to Glacier, Montana. We will be departing on April 30th (Monday) and returning Saturday, May 5th.
More details are forthcoming but I just wanted to let you know that was upcoming and the dates are set!
Look for more info to come!
We have some clarification to provide for the A1 class for Fridays.
We ask that the adolescents wear their black sweatpants EVERY FRIDAY. On HEM days, they may wear a non-uniform shirt as long as it is modest and without licensed characters. If they expect to get sweaty from sports they may bring a change of clothes for the afternoon.
On non-HEM days, they should still wear their BLACK sweatpants but with a uniform top and grey sweatshirt if they wish.
We will revisit this policy once we enter warm weather/shorts season.