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User Profile @monicajenner66

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monicajenner66's Posts - Page 18

Putting On Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care for Parents and Givers

AT Finish

 

As the Family Support Therapist at Blue Ridge, I work with the parents of our students in the field. My role is to offer space for families to experience their own process, which often parallels the student process but is distinctly different for obvious reasons. Teens are in the woods, with both the discomfort that it brings and the luxury of not having to attend to their “normal” lives. 

 

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How School Meeting and Judicial Committee Promote Creative Problem Solving

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According to a 2015 Bloomberg survey of job recruiters, these are the “less common, more desired” traits that today’s recruiters are looking for in job candidates. Of course, these traits are less common in a society where you’re taught for thirteen years in a top-down approach with limited communication, under the leadership of an adult one hundred percent of the time, doing what you’re told and only what you’re told. In this system, correct answers are even marked wrong if a student uses an alternative method to find it. Where is there room to grow skills like communication, leadership and creative problem-solving in such an environment?

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How to Break the Cycle of a Repetitious Education

democratic free school

Do you remember being a 5th-grader and savoring those last few weeks of summer before you start back to school? You treasure every day, skating in the street with your friends, swimming at the community pool and staying up to the last minute of your summer bedtime curfew. Then, all the sudden, summer is over and the first week of school comes with a barrage of emotions: excitement to catch up with old friends, nerves about being in a new school or with a new teacher, happiness over being in class with an attractive girl or popular boy, worried about getting stuck with the hardest teacher, and eagerness to start learning! (Okay...maybe only a few students experience that last one, I loved learning and still do!)

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The Benefits of Mindfulness

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So why practice mindfulness?  As we take time to be present to our experiences, and practice focusing on the present, we actually rewire our brains by creating new neural networks.  What are neural networks, you ask? When we learn behavior (how to swim, how to write the alphabet, how to drive a car) we create a neural network in the brain--neural networks, essentially, are neurons collecting signals from others and this creates electric activity that creates connective branches in the brain. The more we repeat this behavior, the stronger the neural network becomes, and we establish this network as an “expert”—meaning that it is fully learned behavior (we don’t have to relearn it).  Students hiking through the wilderness is a beautiful metaphor for this process.  Imagine a single-track trail in the woods.  The more this single-track is used, the more established it becomes.  If we imagine how our road system started, many thoroughfares were once dirt roads, and the more certain roads

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University-Model High School for the Liberated Youth

Did you know that George Washington Carver was the local “plant doctor” before he turned 13? Or that George Washington was a land surveyor in his teenage years? Or that Laura Ingalls Wilder began her teaching career prior to her 16th birthday? These teens were not much different than ours today. They were passionate about something, yet they had the freedom to pursue their passion.

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4 "Benefits" of Traditional Education

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On top of spending 8 hours a day inside a building, students get to go home with plenty to occupy their evening. Although it's been widely mandated that students only get 1 hour of homework on average each weeknight, most high school students are lucky enough to go home with at least 2 hours of homework! The standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, is the 10 minute rule. 1st graders can have up to 10 minutes of homework a night, 20 minutes for 2nd graders, and 120 minutes for 12th graders. This makes perfect sense, but oftentimes teachers aren't communicating across different content areas. Students may very well be gifted more than the recommended amount of work to last them through the night. 

 

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What Wilderness Means to Me

AT Finish

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started as a field guide in 2011. What I did know, however, was that the wilderness provides a powerful backdrop for anyone searching for something. I had recently gotten back from a four and a half month backpacking trip from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail (The “AT”), where I had experienced that fact first hand. When I started the Appalachian Trail, on the surface I was a confident and probably somewhat arrogant recent college grad. However, internally I was scared to death by the fact that I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had always liked the outdoors but unlike many of the people I met during the trip, I was not fulfilling a lifelong dream by hiking the full length of the AT. Rather, I was fulfilling a dream that I had had for all of about two months after realizing that I was about to have to graduate and this was something that could help delay my entrance into “the real world.”

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Makarios is diversity...community...democracy

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I grew up behind the white curtain of Orange County, California...but I didn’t know it.   The street I lived on in the 70’s, was not Sesame Street, but Mullein Circle, a diverse mix of Japanese, Iranian, Vietnamese, Mexican American, African American, Afghan, and caucasian among 11 homes on our small cul de sac.  All the kids were equally excited when the ice cream truck made its rounds or the Japanese food truck its weekly delivery.  Regardless which appeared, we would scramble to the curb with our hard earned quarters to buy ice cream or rice candy.  I came to appreciate the diversity of cultural exposure years later when my family moved out of state.  The curtain of my existence was not white, but multi-faceted with beautiful colors.  Much like my daily experience, one year into my journey, at Makarios Community School.

 

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How to Wait : Supporting Your Child in a Democratic Free School

democratic free school

When it was first suggested that I write about this topic, “How to Support Your Child in a Democratic School,” I immediately thought: "This isn’t something I think about, I’m just trying to make sure my daughter wears relatively clean clothes to school each day and is not bringing home too many ‘craft projects’ at the end of the week." She’s there most of the day doing her thing and hopefully, staying out of JC.’ But then I began to consider, what has allowed me to reach this point? What has enabled me to become comfortable with the idea of her doing what she thinks is important all day? How did I arrive at this conclusion--that all she needs to do is ‘her thing’ and all I really need to worry about is keeping up with the laundry?

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What Wilderness Means to Me

posted by monicajenner66 1 year ago
tags: wilderness therapy programs

AT Finish

I had no idea what I was getting into when I started as a field guide in 2011. What I did know, however, was that the wilderness provides a powerful backdrop for anyone searching for something. I had recently gotten back from a four and a half month backpacking trip from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail (The “AT”), where I had experienced that fact first hand. When I started the Appalachian Trail, on the surface I was a confident and probably somewhat arrogant recent college grad. However, internally I was scared to death by the fact that I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had always liked the outdoors but unlike many of the people I met during the trip, I was not fulfilling a lifelong dream by hiking the full length of the AT. Rather, I was fulfilling a dream that I had had for all of about two months after realizing that I was about to have to graduate and this was something that could help delay my entrance into “the real world.”

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