A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meditation and mindfulness may give your brain a boost

Meditation and mindfulness may give your brain a boost

The article above provides yet another example that supports our efforts is to consciously shield Joseph's brain from the electronic bombardment that I felt was changing his brain, and not for the better. As an educator and a parent, I want Joseph to develop greater self-control, forethought, creativity, and follow through; I want him to engage in conversations sparked by open-ended conversations; plus, I want him to develop greater empathy and thoughtfulness.

Tonight, I attended a mini-conference event at Joseph's middle school. It was the first time I had ever experienced a mini-conference format: core teachers were set up in the gym; non-core were in the cafeteria. I had detailed, helpful conversations with all of Joseph's teachers and left even happier with the way his school does business than I had been before.

The Principal, Vice Principals, specialists, and teachers were all available, accessible, and visible. Teachers were well prepared, thoughtful, and able to discuss missing assignments, questions I had about procedures, and behavioral concerns that Karen and I have been worried about.

Our concerns have primarily been about social skills and organizational skills, not academic concerns -- Joe is an honor roll student in all honors classes. I asked open-ended questions to inquire about what his teachers noticed about Joe's "executive function," i.e., creativity, forethought, organization, follow through, and the quality of his conversations. His teachers and I also discussed our parental efforts to monitor and control Joe's use of electronics and bed times. In light of these efforts, I asked if teachers had noticed any recent changes in Joe's behavior.

Based on the numerous informative conversations I had tonight, plus little but noticeable improvements that I'm starting to see in Joe since we began our recent experiment in the implementation of parental controls, I feel even better about our parental focus on "executive function." The event helped me develop rapoire with all of Joe's teachers. 7th grade is a highly volatile age, and since "executive function" isn't really there at that age, lots of things can go wrong in a hurry, even for students who seem to be doing great.

Like the way Joseph's entire dojang came together to support him when he had trouble overcoming his last belt before becoming a black belt, tonight I felt that all of Joseph's teachers, Karen, and I all came together. Joe's response when he came back from Tae Kwon Do tonight was perfect: he wanted to discuss what I had learned. I could not have been prouder.