“Middle school is kind of like Middle-earth. It’s a magical journey filled with elves, dwarves, hobbits, queens, kings, and a few corrupt wizards. Word to the wise: pick your traveling companions well. Ones with the courage and moral fiber to persevere. Ones who wield their lip gloss like magic wands when confronted with danger. This way, when you pass through the congested hallways rife with pernicious diversion, you achieve your desired destination—or at least your next class."
-CeCee, Lucy and CeCee's How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School”
Hobbits aside, our hope is to make The Middle School Experience at Roycemore a little more magical than dangerous, and that means daily effort to build community. That daily effort begins each morning in Homeroom. This past week we continued the focus from the prior week on communication.
On Tuesday, students talked about the power of non-verbal communication. Students were divided into two groups with each group receiving a list of words that depict feelings or states of mind to pantomime. They took turns acting without speaking while the other group tried to guess what was going on. Possible feeling states they acted out to communicate non-verbally included feelings such as "I’m glad to meet you", "I’m tired," "I’m so excited, or "I’m worried."
On Wednesday students began the day with an "Elevator Greeting" (see photo above from the 6th grade Homeroom).
Students were instructed to stand close together facing the same direction as if pressed together in a crowded elevator. Each person greeted another and was greeted by two or three of the people closest to him/ her while everyone kept their eyes fixed on an imaginary space above the elevator door. Students were challenged to make the greeting friendly even though they were not looking at one another. They then discussed various "pet peeves" they have in communication with others. Thoughts students shared included:
- When others aren't really listening, they're on their phones instead
- When others talk about themselves all the time
- When others just talk too much
There were many! Perhaps this is a good dinner table talk for your family at home to extend what your children talked about in Homeroom. When you finish talking about communication, perhaps you can ask if they will share with you the SMART goals that they developed in Advisory the last couple of weeks, and whether they have an "accountability" partner to help them in their quest to achieve their goals.