Delayed Gratification – Marshmallow Experiment.
What We Want for Our Students
Every day, I see Angell students who are making decisions for themselves that come from core values and that reflect their authentic selves. Sometimes the small decisions reveal a big heart and an awesome amount of empathy. The bulletin board outside the Angell School office represents examples of students who are eager to put others first. In addition, throughout the school year, groups of students sponsor food drives or bake sales to raise money from everything from cancer research to the local animal shelter. When temperatures drop, students are eager to help rake leaves, sweep the sidewalk and shovel snow. Students like to pitch in and see that their work results in tangible benefits. Students can contribute boldly and creatively to the common good. They often feel good when they are making a difference that is beyond focusing on themselves.
At Angell, we want our students to have a voice, to have ideas and ambition and an assertive drive. When students come forward with a suggestion or an idea, we take them seriously. Our teachers and Enrichment program help our elementary students identify and develop their distinct qualities and passions. We are responsible along with parents, for developing nimble thinkers who will think big and live with authenticity and care.
Origins of narcissism in children by Eddie Brumelman, Sander Thomaes, Srtefanie A. Nelemans, Bram Orobio de Castro and Geertjan Overbeek. Proceedings of the National Academcy of Sciences.
There was a recent study of narcissism among 7-12 year olds when individual differences in narcissim begin to emerge. Narcissistic individuals feel superior to others, fantasize about personal successes, and believe they deserve special treatment. When they feel humiliated, they often lash out aggressively or even violently.
Narcissism was predicted by parental overvaluation. Children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ inflated views of them (e.g.,”I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges.” )
Narcissism is a growing problem in Western society. Since the1980s, Western society has become increasingly concerned with raising children’s self-esteem. In their attempts to raise self-esteem, parents often intuitively rely on lavishing children with praise, telling them that they are special and unique, and giving them exceptional treatment. The results show that, rather than raising self-esteem, such overvaluing practices might inadvertently raise narcissism in children.
Professor Brummelman said the goal is to reduce narcissism levels in children and increase levels of self-esteem by "teaching parents to be warm and affectionate without telling children they are better than others and without conveying to children that they are more entitled than others."
From March, 2015
Some educators have asserted that most of us learn in two ways; through watching others (modeling) and through our own experiences. One of the most important ways we canlearn the most is through making errors.
The great thing about elementary students is the price they pay for most of their mistakes is very affordable. For example – forgetting one’s homework means staying in from recess to do it, forgetting a lunch at home means eating a hot lunch instead, choosing to not wear a coat at recess may result in becoming cold or not studying for a test may result in a poor grade. All of those are valuable experiences that we hope most of our students make at an early age so they will not rack up unaffordable mistakes later in life.
From December, 2014
Our staff attended several days of training in late August learning how to use EmPOWER, a writing strategy system that has vastly helped us become better teachers of writing. Writing is usually one of the hardest disciplines to teach and we are excited that our students are utilizing the “brain frames” and really organizing their writing.
The presenter of EmPOWER, Bonnie Singer, said that good writers need to write fluently and legibly. Our staff has decided to put more time into helping students learn to print upper and lower case letters (lower grades) and master cursive writing (upper grades) in order to help them physically write with automaticity.
Our occupational therapist, Deborah Kay, has helped us understand what is necessary for students to become writers who can easily and unconsciously get words on paper without thinking about how to form each letter. She said one of the most important activities kids can do is gross motor exercises. It takes core strength to write and we need students’ shoulders, arm, hand and finger muscles to be strong! The monkey bars, rope climber, ga-ga pit, and pull up bars are all great ways for students to develop their upper body strength – helping them become better writers!
So, when your child begs you for more indoor video game time, say no, and send him or her outside for some gross motor time.
From October, 2014
Community. Angell is more than a place; it is a community. This is a relational school, where people take the time to know each other, to celebrate each other’s victories, and to support each other through challenges. We have students from 40 countries of the world. We love to learn about each other. If you were to walk down the hallway, you would hear teachers talking about their “team” and “family”. The adults who enter the building are invested in developing significant relationships with the students. It is affirming and life-sustaining to foster an environment of trust and respect and interest in one another.
Transformation. It is remarkable to see what happens to students as they grow and learn. We recognize the huge developmental and intellectual shifts that happen between Kindergarten and 5th student- centered focus, rigorous academic engagement, emphasis on service and special enrichment program provides the structure for student growth. Students feel free to share their ideas because they will be listened to and acknowledged. As the students move into the upper grades, they assume with poise the expectations that they are leaders in the school. It is important to take a long view of life and recognize that maturity comes with time and experience.