Inspiring Stories of Local Youth Activism

Inspiring Stories of Local Youth Activism

Featured, Growing Responsibility, In the News, Inspiring Stories, Motivation

Myhanh Wong is a senior at Franklin High School and committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She believes that “in a week of protests, the people have accomplished so much, even bringing defunding the police to the table. This idea was unheard of two weeks ago. Real change is happening”.

Her advice for young activists is that “they should educate themselves. We can protest the system all we want, but change comes from first understanding the sytem. Make sure to fact check what you see on the news and social media”. She also advises taking breaks. “Individual burnout …

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Homework Hassles

Motivation, Routines, Tips & Tools

There is a tension around homework for lots of reasons. While there is no strong evidence that homework improves outcomes, it certainly is part of a long-standing school tradition. And, well-designed homework can be fun and interesting for your students.

  • Think about the “why.” It is helpful to be have a clear compass on each assignment. How does the work set each student up for success in your class? Is it for practice? Is it to explore a new idea or a different perspective on an idea you are working on in class? Is it to bring new perspectives
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Avoiding Homework Headaches

Motivation, Routines, Tips & Tools

The beginning of the school year is a good time to create routines that support learning at home. What is the homework routine in your family? Do you have a consistent time and space for your child to complete required homework or sit down and read with you daily? Intentional effort now can create a structure that helps you and your child all year. Parents and teachers are often frustrated with homework. Each expects the other to take a little more responsibility for homework. Interesting, isn’t it? Where is the student in all of this? What can we do to …

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Teaching Tenaciousness

Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Every teacher has some students who seem eager to lean into challenges or take on new things – and other students who do the opposite. They seem pull away from taking risks and struggle to manage the frustrating feelings that naturally arise when learning new ideas or tasks. Growing the internal capacity to “lean into learning” helps students thrive in school. Here are some ideas:

  • Teach some brain science. Explain that the process of learning is hard brain work – and some people are more sensitive to the physical sensations of that kind of work. You are actually growing new
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Stubbornness is Perseverance in Disguise

Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Can you remember a time your child insisted on continue to build something, or play or read – when you needed to go somewhere? Perseverance can be frustrating and inconvenient! When your child is sticking to something they want to do – even though you want/need to do something else it is challenging. Yet, the ability and desire to persist in the face of adversity (your request to do something else) is an important life skill which will benefit them in the future. Some children seem to be born with this kind of focus and determination, while others need more …

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Building Hope

Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Tips & Tools

Researchers have found that cultivating hope is pretty challenging but offers significant benefits for those who have it.  Hope isn’t just wishful thinking.  It is the ability to see yourself in the future in a positive light. It involves setting attainable goals, having more than one path to get to the goal and the ability to stick with it when the going gets rough. Students who are high in hope have greater academic achievement, stronger friendships, more creativity and demonstrate better problem-solving skills. They also have lower levels of depression and anxiety and are less likely to drop out of …

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Harnessing Hope

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Resilience, Tips & Tools

Hope is the belief or feeling that something positive will happen. It is a positive, exciting sense of what is possible. In the day to day challenges that we face, it can be hard to hold onto hope, and hope can give us the energy to persevere and can offer a sense of purpose, calm and connection. Parents are children’s first hope builders. Your presence, connection, and attitude can help your child be more hopeful. Try some of these ideas to bring hope into your regular family practice.

  • Name hope. Share examples of when you feel hopeful about something.
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The Courage to Be Imperfect

Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Tips & Tools

In order to learn, all of us need to be willing to take some risk and make mistakes. That takes courage and it takes a safe space. To create the space for learning you, as the teacher have to make it safe for your students to try something that is hard. They need to know that no one will laugh at them or shame them for not getting it right. You, as the leader of your classroom, can help your students build their courage to try new things, to speak in their own voice be part of your classroom community. …

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Leading with Encouragement

Motivation, Tips & Tools

Encouragement is one of your most important tools as a teacher. You can’t make your students learn, but you can help them find the internal resources to engage in learning, connect with others and become part of the classroom community. There are many ways to bring out your students’ best selves. Like other academic strategies you use, your relationship with the student is a key element. To be encouraged, a student must feel felt, seen and valued. Your intentional connection, consistent presence and descriptive language can help develop these feelings in young people.  Students who have had adverse experiences …

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Parenting Tool Box: Encouragement

Motivation, Tips & Tools

Encouragement brings people together. All parents want their children to become capable, kind, responsible people. Many of us have been taught to praise our children, or to “catch them while their good” as a way to set them on the right path. Increasingly, the evidence shows that praise creates approval junkies, people who rely on the judgment of others to know if they are good enough. Encouragement is a more effective tool to foster the behaviors you want your children to have and the kind of person you want them to be. Encouragement helps a child develop an internal sense …

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