What does agency mean?
The capacity and propensity to take purposeful initiative. It is the opposite of helplessness.
How you can boost agency:
- Press and support
- Respect perspective
- Encourage rigor in thinking
- Make decisions together
What could hinder kids from building agency:
- Clearing confusion too quickly
- Removing opportunities for decisions
What do we do to support your child’s journey to young adulthood?
1. Advisory: the areas that we teach is based on CASEL
- Social emotional learning: Self-awareness, self-management, decision making, social awareness, relationship skills
- Community building
- Adult advocate
- Well-being check-in
- Identifying emotions
- Recognizing strengths
- Sense of self-confidence
- Appreciating diversity
- Respect for others
- Social engagement
- Building relationships
- Working cooperatively
- Resolving conflicts
- Helping/Seeking help
Responsible decision making:
- Identifying problems
- Analyzing situations
- Solving problems
- Ethical responsibility
- Impulse control
- Stress management
- Organizational skills
2. We also celebrate risk-taking
3. We push the kids hard enough through our rigorous academics
Here are the top 10 things you need to let your child mess up:
This is so they can learn the lessons while the stakes are still relatively low
Scenario 1: Your sixth grade child failed a math assessment and has to prepare for a reassessment. She is very upset and claims that the test was unfair. What do you do?
Empathize but let them earn a bad grade. We're trying to teach them self-efficacy and perseverance.
Scenario 2: Your seventh grade son has PE after lunch and forgot his PE clothes at home. He called you in a panic just before Advisory. What do you do?
Let them sweat when they forget. We're trying to teach them organizational skills.
Scenario 3: Your eighth grade child oversleeps because they stayed up too late watching Netflix. What do you do?
Let them miss the bus (or their ride). We're trying to teach them organizational skills.
Scenario 4: Your child wants to go to Bounce with friends. You are not able to take her. She has never ridden the bus, taken a taxi, or MRT on her own.
Let them use public transport and get lost (or succeed!). We're teaching them the skills of goal setting and self-confidence
Scenario 5: Your seventh grade child misses the deadline for submitting an audition video for the middle school play.
Let them miss a deadline that matters. This teaches them self-discipline and organizational skills.
Scenario 6: On the way to school, your child loses the $50 she was supposed to add to her lunch card.
Let them run out of money on their lunch card. This reached them how to take responsibility and seek help.
Scenario 7: On Sunday night, your sixth grader realizes they don’t have clean uniform and they ask you to do their laundry.
Let them wear smelly, dirty clothes. This teaches them planning and self-motivation.
Scenario 8: Your middle school child says something somewhat vulgar and unkind about another student on Snapchat and that parent has contacted you.
Let them feel ashamed when they are hurtful, dishonest, or disappointed. They need to learn about empathy and respect for others.
Scenario 9: You turn the wifi off at 9:00 p.m. at your house. Your eighth grader, who has spent much of the day gaming, asks you to leave the wifi on so they can finish their math homework.
Let them procrastinate through their wifi time and not finish their homework. This teaches them self-discipline and goal setting skills.
Scenario 10: Your seventh grader really wants to make the SAS REP 14U basketball team, but they don’t make the team.
Let them set a goal and feel disappointed in themselves when they don’t reach it. Students are able to identify their emotions and work on their goal setting.