We recently caught up with Megan Murphy, the Executive Director of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools after she visited the Oak Knoll School campus earlier this fall. Here, she talks about issues facing girls’ schools, her hope for empowering girls’ voices and girls' school misconceptions.
If you’re an educator or have been near an educational institution over the last few years, you’ve most likely heard the phrase ‘Growth Mindset.’ It seems to be the new buzz word as of late. But what exactly does it mean? And why is it so important? And if you don’t have one, how do you get one?
As parents and educators, we seek to put our teen’s behaviors, emotions and difficulties into mutually exclusive categories that we can readily understand and, by extension, start the processing of fixing. This assuages our own anxieties about being ineffective in our children’s lives and, replaces that inner parental angst with controllable variables in the form of actionable items and measurable gains. If your teen comes home expressing that nothing in math class is making sense, parents may act in the straightforward response of contacting the teacher or enlisting the help of a tutor, should one not already exist. This is an “easy one” as parenting goes, in that the direction is clear and there is a reasonable expectation that this intervention will fix or at least mitigate the problem.
While sitting on the beach last summer, I watched my 5-year-old goddaughter walk over to a little girl she did not know, introduce herself, and ask her to play. Two girls, who never met, becoming fast friends. They would spend the day building sandcastles, sharing snacks, and running in and out of the ocean – not thinking twice about the waves that towered over them. Most likely this is a common story experienced by many beach-goers. Insert a middle school girl into this picture, and the story line completely changes. The middle school girl will never make that initial introduction and will not run in and out of the ocean carefree. Why? Because all those initiatives we easily took when we were young, involve taking a risk. Girls’ capacity to take risks diminishes as they grow older starting around their middle school years.
Do you like challenges? More specifically, do you like geographic challenges?Then I think you would be interested in learning about #MysterySkype. Why the hashtag? #MysterySkype is a Twitter hashtag that teachers have been using to set up connections between their classes. The challenge is for students to guess the location of the other class by asking yes or no geographic questions. There are also spin-offs to #MysterySkype such as #MysteryAnimal and #MysteryNumber. Anything can become a mystery — how about a #MysteryElement from the periodic table?
Whether in-season or out-of-season, it’s important athletes take care of themselves during the winter months. The cold weather impacts your body by tightening muscles, causing dehydration and, for some, triggering asthma. As the extreme temperatures settle in, use our guide to athletic health care to help athletes prepare their bodies for the cold winter months.
Winter break is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book for fun or continue reinforcing classroom concepts. The librarians at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child developed a list of top winter reads that are appropriate for students in grades K-12. Whether it’s snowing outside or you’re just trying to decompress, the list of our top winter reads are both fun and educational.
Teachers spend quite a bit of time with students throughout the week. Many are with them before school, during and after school, depending on the activities and needs of each child. The job of a teacher is never easy, and it’s never truly done – even after high school. As we head into the first full week of school this year, we asked teachers of children in grades K-12 to weigh in on what they wished parents knew about the work they do and insight they bring. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Balancing school and sports is not always easy, but being a scholar athlete at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has been one of the most formative and rewarding experiences of my life. A normal night in-season usually consists of me, scrambling to finish what feels like endless homework and studying for my tests and quizzes the next day, after a 2 ½-hour practice at our field complex in Chatham, New Jersey. By the time it reaches midnight, I’m setting an alarm for 6:30 a.m. to do it all again the next day.
Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child always seemed like a magical place to me. When I was younger, I had two cousins and an older sister who attended the school and I anticipated the days when one of them would forget a book and I would accompany my mom to drop it off. The campus was beautiful and I loved the look of the uniform.