Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sept. 15 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  I recently came across this article from the PBS Kids for Parents website which I would like to share with you.  The author, a social worker, wrote about the struggle some parents experience dealing with their students’ meltdowns that occur when they return home from school.  The author provided some practical advice that all of us parents may find to be useful.  The one suggestion I found to be the most compelling pertained to giving students some space after they return home from school.  Due to my busy work schedule (and my kids’ own busy activity schedules), I often find myself trying to squeeze as much quality time out of the limited amount of moments we have together.  Therefore, I frequently bombard them with questions about school when I return home.  After reflecting on the information from the article, I realized despite my best intentions my efforts may be cutting into my children’s down time and taking away their ability to recharge.  In fact, my wife and I do the same thing to each other as well.  By inquiring about each other’s work day the moment we see each other, we are pushing each other to revisit the pressure we experienced during the last 8-9 hours and neglecting our need to take break from those sources of stress.  My wife and I now promise each other that we will refrain from “shop talk” (she’s a public school educator as well) and focus our conversations other things that bring us joy.  I am including the article here, and I hope you will find it as helpful as I did.

I would also like to invite everyone to come to a talk by Sarah Ward on developing executive functioning skills in our students.  The event will be held on October 8 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in the McCall Auditorium.  I thank both Parent to Parent and the MPA for funding this awesome event.  I have attended many of Ms. Ward’s lectures and other professional development sessions.  I find that the strategies she offer are not only effectively but are also very easy to implement.  Her thinking about teaching students also aligns with what our district and school values.  That is be clear with our students about the learning goals and expectations,but provide them with the flexibility to develop the skill sets that are meaningful to them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message, and I wish you all a great week!

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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