70 students, lead by faculty facilitators Ms. Cullen, Ms. Lockwood and Mr. Webster came to the Middle School HOP on Saturday from 9-12 to learn more about the language of leadership. Students participated in a variety of activities around the power of verbal and non-verbal communication in leadership roles. Students were engaged in a variety of activities including role-plays and team building games that allowed their leadership skills to shine. Students reflected on the communication characteristics of a good leader and also debriefed one new thing they learned, one thing they reviewed and one hope of something they could continue to work on. This feedback will be used to inform future leadership seminars. Good learning and good fun!
A handful of AES students attended 100 million for 100 million campaign, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Sunday December 11 (led by AES parent Roopi Saran). Their work and partnership will continue in the second semester. What an incredible experience!
Mr. McDavitt and Ms. Minkley recently travelled with many middle school students to Shanghai for a MUN Conference. Students held themselves maturely, dressed like diplomats and debated complex issues, such as the militarization of the Global Commons and the political transition of Northern Africa. At SHASMUN, the quality of debate is particularly high because the conference is open to both MS and HS delegates. Despite being in large committees with older students, our students did exceptionally well, debating with authority and passion. Several other teachers and committee Chairs commented about how prepared, diplomatic, and well-spoken they were.
Every student should be commended for their preparation, collaborative spirit, and proactive participation.
Leadership Seminar #4: Building bridges among cultures and thinking!
On Saturday, April 25 from 9:00-12:00, we held our fourth and final leadership seminar for the year, and it brought us some special guests! Our AES students had an opportunity to get to know a group of female students from a local school. Through a variety of icebreaker and team building games, AES students had an opportunity to team with these students to work together on a design-thinking challenge. This seminar provided multiple opportunities for social interactions, creative thinking and hands on activities.
At assembly this week, the Middle School student Climate Committee presented the No Cussing Challenge. Check out their presentation and the accompanying video that provided the inspiration. (Please note: the video was created in affiliation with a religious group, however the message and ideas are relevant no matter your belief system.)
The Climate reality leadership training was run by Al Gore- Nobel laureate and ex US vice president of United States. This leadership program is organized three times a year in different parts of the world. At this training, there were about 450 participants from approximately 40 different countries. The participants included educators, students, journalists, NGO’s working with renewable energy solutions, curriculum creators and so on. The main goal of the training program was to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change and the options for renewable energy. This is a crucial time especially in the run-up to COP21 in Paris in Dec 2015.
AES was fortunate to have 2 participants in this training: Mrs. Gulati and Sam Scheutz. Congratulations!
On Tuesday, January 27, Ms. Lockwood created an “Acts of Kindness” Bulletin Board on the 2nd Floor in the Middle School, and health students in grade 6 and 8 began adding post-its with kind deeds they had done or had observed being done.
On Wednesday, February 4, the Middle School Student Climate Committee, led by MS Counselor, Colleen Coady, and MS Principal, Beth Coyle, met and brainstormed ways to generate more enthusiasm and participation in the Random Acts of Kindness Week and ways to extend the initiative beyond one week.
At a special Middle School assembly on Monday, February 9, Jonah Rosenfield (MS science teacher and Team 8 Lead Teacher), launched the “Intentionally Practicing to Get Better at It Week 2015″ with a short presentation and invitation to participate in more acts of kindness to fill metaphorical buckets on each floor of the middle school building.
On Monday, February 9, in advisory, all grade 6 students participated in a holding a stone activity (an adaption of cultivating forgiveness). They selected a stone to represent an unforgiven hurt and decorated it to identify it as their own. Then they carried the stone in their non-dominant hand for the rest of the school day (5 hours).
On Tuesday, February 10, during ET, the grade 6 students reflected in writing on the holding stone / unforgiven hurt activity, symbolically ‘forgave’ by letting go of the hurt while Toby Mac’s song “Forgiveness” played, and many voluntarily shared with their peers how they felt holding the stone for five hours, how it felt to release the stone, and ways in which this activity connects with Kindness week and the Grade 6 Beliefs.
The plan is for the stones to be made into cement stepping stones that will be placed in the Middle School rock garden.
On Wednesday, February 11, during assembly, three Girl Scouts students shared a video called Opening Doors and Hearts as part of a bullying-prevention project and in support of Kindness Week. After the video, the students asked for a moment of silence to remember those who have been targeted by bullies.
What do successful relationships have to do with leadership? That was the question at the December 6 Leadership Seminar. We worked with 60 students around strategies they can apply to be a Servant Leader everyday. Through fun interactive activities like the Build Frosty a House Design Challenge and You Can Build a Snowman, the AES MS Students had fun and focused on how they worked with each other. A great time was had by all!