Let’s Start the Conversation
Ah, the middle school years. A time of uncertainty and self-exploration, and perhaps the three most formative years of one’s life.
My memory is quite vivid when it comes to middle school. While I certainly had some amazing teachers, was involved in multiple sports, and developed some great friendships during this time; it isn’t these moments that surface to the top of my memory bank. Unfortunately, my most vivid memories are that of the ongoing negative self-talk that consumed me each and every day. My personal thought of choice was “Why am I not happy?”, which of course led to very little self-confidence and a propensity to avoid risk (safe or not). While I was able to excel academically because of my strong work ethic and parental support, my social and emotional skills were desperately lacking.
I can’t help but think of the number of middle school students today who are on a similar path. As the education system continues to place a major emphasis on letter grades and standardized test scores, I’m on a mission to start a conversation about the importance of social and emotional skills and their subsequent impact on academic AND personal success. What would happen if we gave each student an opportunity to practice self-awareness and self-management skills on a daily basis, at school and at home? In my opinion, you would have is a culture of vulnerability and willingness to share thoughts and feelings without concern for the “cool factor”. It’s time that we begin to address the pink elephants in the room (i.e. self-confidence) and strive to create this culture. The students aren’t going to ask for it, so we must give it to them.
Will you join me on this mission?