Dear Blake Families:
I hope that this update finds you all well rested and relaxed after the five days off from school, and that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. It certainly was a welcome break at the Vaughn abode, finding some time to breathe and recharge for the busy stretch of the holiday season! As is the case every year, I enjoyed sharing stories about our pig races and the Thanksgiving assembly to family and friends. I do believe that the memories that are being created here at Blake are ones that will be fondly recalled by our students in the years to come.
This time of year is inherently busy, as we all are trying to maintain 'balance', in both our professional and personal endeavors. It can be a challenge to find 'focus' and a 'centering vision' during this time, and I encouraged staff this week to take some time to revisit their goals for the year and to step back and 'breathe' as we end the first term in the next two weeks. With this in mind, I have posted an article by Alix Spiegel that I came across last weekend entitled 'Struggle Means Learning: Difference in Eastern and Western Cultures' (posted on the Articles tab of this blog). Spiegel highlights cultural differences from the East and West in the approach to education, and I believe that this 'discussion' ties directly to our theme of Perseverance for the Blake community. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, the implications about the 'idea of struggle' have direct ties to the work with our students: 'All of this matters because the way you conceptualize the act of struggling with something profoundly affects your actual behavior. Obviously if struggle indicates weakness - a lack of intelligence - it makes you feel bad, and so you're less likely to put up with it. But if struggle indicates strength - an ability to face down the challenges that inevitably occur when you are trying to learn something - you're more willing to accept it.' In addition to the article, I have copied a link to the NPR podcast of this story...
Struggle Means Learning: Difference in Eastern and Western Cultures
As with many of the articles and discussion points in our profession, I found this article to be thought-provoking from the lens of both an educator and as a parent. I hope that we all, in clusters, departments, as a staff, and with the greater community, can continue to have these conversations and discuss the implications for the work we do on a daily basis with our students.
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