by Ted Chen, Middle School assistant director
Teaching and learning are not limited to the classroom at Lakeside. Students have great opportunities to extend their learning into different realms such as service learning, outdoor trips, Global Service Learning trips, and field trips.
Yet experiential learning is not limited to off campus: Our students are learning how to build and develop ethical spirits every day. The daily interactions students have with each other and with adult community members help them to shape their perspective on how to be inclusive, considerate, and act with integrity. As the Statement of Community Expectations states: "...every action that affirms consideration, integrity, and inclusion builds the 'ethical spirits' that contribute to the kind of community we seek." These positive actions or behaviors, no matter if they are large or small, help shape our students to be the leaders we want in the world.
As a school, we highlight these positive actions and behaviors in many ways. During our weekly Middle School community meeting, students and adults share "kindness shout-outs" and recognize someone who has helped others. Recent examples are student shout-outs to peers who helped them pick up dropped items, helped them understand content from class, and carried a backpack when a student was injured. These actions speak to the strength of our community because students perform these actions unprompted by adults. It is evidence that the students are building their ethical spirits and perspective on how to be a good person.
In addition to the kindness shout-outs, the adult community recognizes actions of students at the start of every month. In a "Community Expectations Update" email, we highlight student actions that relate to the community expectations. For example, one update read, "Two students started to eat lunch at a table. They noticed that another student was eating alone and they moved to join that student. This action is considerate of others, inclusive, and demonstrates integrity - the trifecta!"
Another update said, "While playing soccer during lunch, a student demonstrated great integrity during the game. The game was competitive, and the ball went out of bounds with this student and an opposing player both contacting the ball. Unprompted, the student told everyone that it was the other team's throw-in because it went off of him. This demonstrated great integrity in doing what was right and truthful."
When students learn about the positive and ethical actions of their peers, it helps teach them how they can help shape our community and build their own ethical spirits. When they graduate from Lakeside, they will be able to use their learning and knowledge about inclusion, consideration, and integrity to help our world be a better place.
Notable January dates and events
- Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 7.
- There are two Middle School Q&As with administrators this month. Both occur in the Middle School dining room.
- Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2:30-3:30 p.m. will be focused on the pilot of a new Middle School schedule that runs Jan. 23-Feb. 15. Please read Middle School Director Elaine Christensen's article for more information.
- Monday, Jan. 28, 9-10 a.m. will be a general topic Q&A.
- Lakeside is closed on Monday, Jan. 21 and Tuesday, Jan. 22 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
- CTP V testing for 8th graders takes place Jan. 30 and 31. Over the course of two days, 8th-grade students will take the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP V) standardized test, developed by the Educational Records Bureau. While no special preparations are necessary, parents and guardians can support their students in the following ways.
- Help them get a good night's sleep and a wholesome breakfast on test days.
- Remind them to bring two pencils, and a book to read if they finish sections early.
- Remind them to bring a calculator on the second day of testing (for the second portion of the mathematics test).
- Finally, Middle School families may be interested in checking out the Upper School musical, "Newsies." It's a great way to see our Upper School drama students in action. The free show runs Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Saturday, Feb. 2, starting at 7 p.m. in St. Nicholas Hall on the Upper School campus. And from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before the show, you can see work from Upper School visual arts students in the Midwinter Arts Show. Learn more about the musical and arts show in Andrew Krus's article.
As always, please let me know if you have questions or want to check in for any reason!
Ted Chen is Lakeside's Middle School assistant director. You can reach him at 206-440-2721 and MSassistantdirector@lakesideschool.org.