Let's talk about talking

Posted by Barbara Whitlock, Director of the Upper School on Jan 23, 2023 11:15:53 AM

Upper School Director Barbara Whitlock sends a monthly message to upper school students. In her January message, she coaches students to think about how the way they communicate.

What’s the best thing about returning to school after a break? Reconnecting with others.

And how do we connect? Through talking.

Aristotle says that what most distinguishes humans is our ability to communicate. The fact that we can talk in complex ways is unique to humans, and communication is the foundation of community. Note that these words share the Latin root word cum or with. Talking is how we connect with others. Connecting with many people in a shared context -- such as at school -- is the way we weave the fabric of community.

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Help in the "age of distraction"

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Dec 15, 2022 4:21:14 PM

A couple of years ago, I was planning a workshop for Montrose School’s Sophomore Symposium. Specifically, I was searching for a powerful story could I use to remind students of one of the core lessons from the middle school’s signature “Habits of Mind” class: 

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3 ways to get ready for parent/teacher conferences

Posted by Becky Roberts on Nov 16, 2022 2:17:02 PM

The days have gotten shorter and the weather chiller. ‘Tis the season . . . for your child’s parent/teacher conferences. 

Every parent – and every teacher – can feel a little anxious leading up to parent/teacher conferences. Yet this annual passage is an important touchpoint in the school year. At Montrose, we know that parents are the first and most important educators of their daughters. That means that our November conferences between parents and a student’s teachers and mentor are essential to forwarding our aims to partner with parents to support their child’s academic and personal growth. 

How can parents best prepare to engage in these short but important conversations? 

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How to become a warrior, not a worrier

Posted by Barbara Whitlock, Director of the Upper School on Nov 2, 2022 11:44:44 AM

If someone asks you -- how are you doing -- where does your mind tend to go first?

  • To your worries about what you need to get done? I have so much work to do…

  • Stress surrounding upcoming tests or other deadlines? That test is going to be so hard…I’ll never get that paper done…

  • Some slight you perceived from a friend?

Do you know that our brains are wired to go to the negative first -- that we have a negativity bias?

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Aristotle’s Guide to Ending the School Year Well

As the leaves unfurl and new flowers pop out every day, we’re reminded that it’s a season of change. As fellow New Englanders who have longed for spring, we know how to welcome that change, even if it leaves our sinuses a little itchy. 

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Discovering the power of imagination

Posted by Seana Dorich on Mar 1, 2022 4:17:06 PM

Some say it strikes like lightning: that spark that sets the mind on fire and ignites the spirit. We grasp it in an instant and recognize it despite its ever changing form, in the capture of a scream on canvas, our country’s origin story told in rap, or the wordless story expressed in an animated short film. It has directed humanity’s course, both in ancient times and present day. With it, our ancestors made sense of the stars; our contemporaries plan a pathway to Mars. 

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The world awaits your impact

Posted by Barbara Whitlock, Director of Student Learning & Leadership on Jan 19, 2022 11:55:03 PM
In my monthly message to upper school students, I shared reflections in honor of Martin Luther King Day. I challenge my students, and you, to reflect on the question: How are you preparing yourself for a life of impact?  
 
It’s January in New England. Cold has locked in. Trees are bare. ‘Rona spawns her offspring to keep us a little on edge and sticking Q-tips in our noses. And a full, rich and challenging semester of learning has come to a close. As you wait this week for your first semester grades and comments,   I want you to lift your vision higher.  I want to remind you that how you spend your time now prepares you for something larger   -- for a life of impact.
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Parenting Round-Up: 4 Articles Worth a Look

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Apr 28, 2021 2:34:40 PM

When I was a young teacher –  years before I had children –  a wise head of school pulled the faculty together before parent-teacher conferences and shared this quote from Elizabeth Stone.

“Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

"Remember," he said, "when you talk about someone else’s child with them, you are talking about their heart."

Parenting is such sublime, scary, soulful work –  and we can use all the help we can get.  Here are four recent articles that might provide a slice of support:

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"When You Say Nothing At All": Why Body Language Matters

Posted by Deborah Farmer Kris on Mar 24, 2021 9:45:57 AM

 

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Making the Best of Stress: Building Your Resilience Toolbox

Posted by Neha Sunkara, '21 on Feb 23, 2021 9:50:01 AM

How many times have you used the word stress this week? If it is more than once, you are not alone. In a study of 43,000 students from high-performing schools, 75% of high school students and 50%  of middle schoolers reported feeling "often or always" stressed by schoolwork.

Though there is no way to eradicate all stress from our lives, we can still find small ways to strengthen our resilience. As Dr. Susan David, the author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, writes, "Discomfort is the price we pay for a meaningful life." In her fifth and final Habits of Mind workshop --  "Making the Best of Stress: Building Your Resilience Toolbox" --  LifeCompass Institute Associate Director Deborah Farmer Kris shared five tools for managing stress.

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