List of 21 news stories.

  • Wait Until 8th

    Andrew Myler
    Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on Dr. Sax’s thought-provoking parent presentation.  I enjoy pop culture (Bravo, all music, the occasional TMZ update, People Magazine, and the cooking shows on VICELAND). So, I was troubled when Dr. Sax cited pop culture as a leading cause of teen anxiety and a factor in the “collapse of parenting.” 
     
    Sax partly blamed the lyrical content of modern music (Bieber, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus) for the rise in a culture of disrespect among children.  When I was in middle school, I was blasting Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction. Bieber seems mild in comparison. Has pop culture really grown cruder in the last 25 years?
     
     
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  • Leaders

    "Top Dogs"

    Andrew Myler
    At St. Paul’s, we have always believed that the k-8, or in our case, the toddler through 8th grade model is the optimal design for middle school student growth and development. Turns out, we’ve been right all along. In a September piece for NPR, Anya Kamenetz reported on a recent Syracuse University study regarding the experience of middle schoolers in three distinct school designs: k-8, 6-8, 6-12.
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  • Listen Up

    Yesterday, I was in our weekly program meeting.  (The admin team gathers to talk about the week ahead and plan for any critical issues.)  During the discussion, I was asked a question, and I was not paying attention.  I owned my lack of focus and shared the reason for my distraction.  I was multitasking—preparing for my class, and, wait for it…reading an article about active listening.  
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  • Won't Back Down

    I have been slacking on my blog, so I thought I would continue the slack by recycling a version of the chapel lesson that I shared last week with our 3rd through 8th graders.   

    I love music.  On my Spotify account, I have three playlists: one dramatically called “My Life,” one labeled “The Gym” (heavy doses of Guns n’ Roses and Rage Against the Machine), and one simply named “Country Favorites.” 
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  • Plan

    B+

    As promised, I am moving away from my social media and technology rant (for now.)   I recently read an article about metacognition and academic performance.  When a student asks how to improve her grade or perform well on a test, our first suggestion is usually, “study more.”   The better advice, according to the Stanford research cited in the piece, is “study smarter.”
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  • Sad

    Phones and Depression

    As promised, this will be my last technology themed blog to start the year.  (I do reserve the right to return to my soapbox at a later date.)  Since the start of my crusade, several of you have shared a recent The Atlantic article, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”  The piece, by Jean Twenge, is an abridged version of her upcoming book, iGen, Why Today’s Super-connected Kids are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.”
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  • Memory

    Technology and Memory

    I promise that I will only send two more technology related notes to start the year.  Last week, I shared Dr. Leonard Sax’s piece about the magnified impact of technology on girls.  Dr. Sax suggested that children should not have any technology in their bedrooms.  Turns out, at least with cell phones, Dr. Sax’s recommendation is backed by research.

    Sadly, I am dependent on my phone.  I am notoriously disorganized, and my phone (at least I have convinced myself) helps me with executive functioning.  Last Tuesday, I left my phone at home, and I was literally anxious for the first hour and a half of my day.  I am accustomed to the constant pinging--helpful notes from my calendar, distracting Alabama football updates, and the arrival of new emails.  
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  • Anxiety and Social Media

    I realize that I am on a bit of a soap box about social media, but I feel strongly that the constant connection is having a negative social and emotional impact on our students.  Last week, I shared my recommendations for managing your child’s digital life.  

    When your child goes to bed, the cell phone and other devices must go to bed (in a separate room.) 

    Set some device free times: dinner, car rides, or Saturday mornings. 

    Talk to your child frequently about your expectations.

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  • Texting

    Last May, I sent a blog post about texting and social media.  As we start the year, I am, once again, asking for your help.  We value community, and we expect our students to meet our community expectations: “As a member of the St. Paul’s community, I pledge to be honest, to respect others, to take responsibility for my actions and words, to be kind and inclusive, and to help others do the same.”

    For the most part, our students live the pledge, but texting and social media can be landmines. 
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  • Where's the Pony?

    Andrew Myler
    It’s hard to be optimistic. But, it’s possible. Life is stressful, and we can easily fixate on the negative. As we end the Thanksgiving season and prepare for Christmas, I encourage you to celebrate our many blessings.
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  • The Cost of Service

    Andrew Myler
    We value community and chapel. We strive to develop confident learners, ethical leaders, and compassionate engaged citizens.

    Last week, the middle school Chapel Leadership Team, reflecting on the Parable of the Banquet, discussed developing a heart for service and the importance of humility.
     
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  • What's the Rush?

    What's the Rush?

    Andrew Myler

    This morning, I read a brief, but fascinating article, about the impact of stress on mice pups. Psychologist, Alison Gopnik, in her Mind and Matter series, summarized two recent studies on the development of mice.
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  • Deeds, not Words

    Andrew Myler
    We are in a tough stretch of readings in our lectionary. Honestly, we are struggling to find connectivity for younger audiences in my Chapel Leadership class. Last week, we studied the “Rich Man and Lazarus.” With my limited biblical knowledge, I expected to hear the story of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life. I was wrong. Did you know that there was another Lazarus?

    This Lazarus was sick and hungry. The rich man knew that Lazarus was there, and the rich man knew that Lazarus needed help. The rich man could see Lazarus. But, the rich man refused to reach out and help Lazarus. After reviewing two commentaries on the parable, the Chapel Leadership Team decided that Jesus was issuing a call to action.
     
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  • Party On!

    Andrew Myler
    We value chapel. As an Episcopal school, we seek to awaken and instill spiritual values through daily chapel services.  On our updated website, we posted a piece, “Why Choose an Episcopal School?”

    One Reason: “Episcopal schools integrate the ideals and concepts of equity, justice, and a just society throughout the life of the school. Community service is an integral part of the life of the school.”
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  • The Adults

    Andrew Myler
    I am currently working my way through Dr. Richard Weissbourd’s book, The Parents We Mean to Be. (Dr. Weissbourd is a psychologist and faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.)

    I encourage you to read the book, but, in our busy world, I realize that a parenting guide may not be on your agenda. Luckily, Dr. Weissbourd, offers a one page strategy guide for parents (and all adults) that you can read in less than ten minutes.
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  • St. Paul's Traditions

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    As part our teambuilding last week, our administrative team took the Myers Brigg type indicator and shared the results with one another.  By sharing our types, we (hopefully) developed a better understanding of how to work together.
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  • Why St. Paul's?

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    Yesterday, our administrative team met for our annual retreat. In one of our sessions, we each answered the question, “Why St. Paul’s?”

    As we get ready to start the year, I wanted to share some of the responses.
     
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  • Sleepy

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    I am a contradiction; I don’t like structure, but I flounder when I don’t have a routine.   In the summer, my sleep pattern falls apart because of vacations, a later start time, Netflix binges, and Bravo. (Teresa is out of prison!) 
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  • "Unselfie"

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    Today, I read a question and answer piece posted on the Times Well Blog.  Journalist Sharon Jayson interviewed Dr. Michelle Borba about her book, “Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.” (I found the exchange enlightening and plan on ordering the book before my vacation.)
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  • Constant Questions

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    During the summer months, you are likely spending more one on one time with your children.  Are they driving you crazy?  Are they constantly asking questions? 
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  • Summer Fun

    from Head of School Andrew Myler

    Is your summer slipping away?  (Mine is!)  This morning, I discovered the intentional summer challenge series posted on the New York Times Well Blog.  Each week, Blogger KJ Dell’Antonia shares a simple, fun challenge for families to accomplish together.  
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Archive
As a member of the St. Paul’s community, I pledge to be honest, to respect others, to take responsibility for my actions and words, to be kind and inclusive, and to help others do the same.
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