On The Point blog from Rock Point School

Helping Teens Transition After Therapeutic Programs

Wilderness and therapeutic programs can be a significant resource for some teens and families. These programs provide a safe and structured environment where young people can work through a crisis point, address behaviors that are harmful, and gain emotional and social skills that will allow them to flourish. Because many of these programs are designed for short term treatment, families and educational consultants can be left searching for the right “next place” for their teenagers.

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How to Reduce Teen Back-to-School Anxiety

As they move into “back to school” season, teens may be experiencing lots of anxiety around school work, schedules, friendships, and activities. They have to negotiate new teachers, try-outs for activities, and navigate new social situations. Many teens are going from a relatively relaxing summer to a highly scheduled school year and they simply may be out of “shape” for the transition back to school.

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Nurturing Grit and Resilience for Better Learning

If you’ve been paying attention to the educational landscape in the past few years, you’ve probably heard the terms “Social and Emotional Learning,” “Grit,” “Resilience,” “Life Skills,” or “Soft Skills” being thrown around. While it is clear that these skills are extremely important to our young people and can be a large factor in determining success, it can be difficult to sort out which specific skills fall into these categories and how to teach them. At Rock Point School, we refer to teaching these skills as educating the “whole person.”

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Are You Worried about a Gap Year before College?

You may have heard that Malia Obama is taking a year ‘off’, known as a gap year, before she enters Harvard University in the fall of 2017. This news has brought lots of attention to what has become a trend - students taking a year between graduating high school and beginning college. To some, this seems like a luxury, and certainly there are luxurious excursion or adventure options for a gap year, but to others this year can be extremely beneficial and make their college experience more meaningful.

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Tips for Nurturing a Healthy Teenage Brain

 

When I tell people I’m the Head of a high school, I often get the response “Wow! It must be hard working with teenagers.As a culture, we tend to be intimidated by adolescents based on some common misperceptions and stereotypes in the media. Let's explore some of the reasons why adolescents can seem intimidating plus tips for nurturing healthy teenage (and adult) brains.

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Supporting Your Teen During School Vacation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we are heading into our vacation, I am thinking about a student at Rock Point from many years ago who really struggled to get back into the school schedule when she returned from vacation. It was impossible to get her downstairs for breakfast before her first class of the day. Jokingly, we made the first day back from vacation “Tara clause” - making breakfast optional that first Monday morning to help students ease back into school. To this day, some students still use the “Tara clause” on the first morning back from break!

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Therapeutic Boarding School, Traditional or In Between?

The other day, a visitor to Rock Point School noticed the many dogs we have in the building. He asked, “Are these all therapy dogs?” I paused before answering with a grin, “Therapy with a small t …” While our dogs are not certified therapy animals, they serve an informal therapeutic purpose for our students. This is just one example of how a school, particularly a small residential boarding school, can provide therapeutic supports without being a “big T” Therapeutic school.

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Motivating Teenagers in Summer? Impossible (Not)

As the bounty in our garden grows, I have been reflecting on our summer program. It was such a sincere pleasure to see our students working hard in the garden and savoring the literal “fruits of their labors” throughout the summer. Students had ownership of their own raised garden beds and learned a lot about growing food, wildcrafting, and stewardship. As we head into a new school year, I want to share a few examples of what I know many of you, as parents and teachers, observe or struggle with daily about how to get (and keep) adolescents motivated.

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Seeing Beyond the Labels

Our school has always been an open and affirming place for students with a wide diversity of identities and backgrounds. In our small, warm, welcoming community, students learn to appreciate themselves and each other as individuals, each bringing a unique perspective and a unique set of strengths and challenges. Each year, as we help students build a cohesive and meaningful community, we also teach them how to respect, include, and value a diverse group of fellow students, seeing beyond labels of race or culture, sexual orientation, thinking style, learning disability diagnosis, economic background, or anything else.

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Core Principles Work: It's not rocket science

Our culture is obsessed with the cutting edge and innovation––and almost automatically assumes that newer is better. I’m not moved to argue against change; life is change. And many changes are good. Instead, I want to have more thoughtful conversations, especially in education, about recognizing and valuing what’s tried and true, while still supporting progress.

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