What Can We Take-Away from the Documentary Screenagers?

DR. ZAN STRUEBING, SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST: Recently, The Peck School invited parents, students and members of the greater Morristown area to attend a screening of the thought provoking documentary Screenagers. As the film’s website asks, “Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span?”

For many of us who are equal parts parent and faculty, finding ways to positively navigate the current technological landscape is a high priority.

The site goes on to explain that physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw this with her own kids and learned that the average child spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well. The film ultimately reveals how tech time impacts children’s development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

Several days after the screening, The Peck School scheduled a follow up coffee to allow parents the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions. Having the opportunity to experience and then discuss timely topics that impact our community is one of my great joys here at Peck. For many of us who are equal parts parent and faculty, finding ways to positively navigate the current technological landscape is a high priority. For this reason, continuing to contemplate the messages delivered in Screenagers is useful.

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What is a responsive classroom?

JANE ATTAH, GRADE 2 TEACHER: 

I believe that the most impactful academic learning cannot be decoupled from social-emotional growth.

I believe that what we learn is as important as how we learn, and who we are learning with.

I believe that children who feel safe, who feel valued, and who feel loved will discover they have the potential to reach any academic height.

When I decided to become an educator, I felt strongly and earnestly that it would be crucial to create a learning environment that supports and nourishes both the mind and the heart throughout the school day.

…create a learning environment that supports and nourishes both the mind and the heart throughout the school day.

As a teacher who follows the tenets of a Responsive Classroom method, I’ve seen its incredibly positive learning effect on my young students. This method is a research-based approach to a K-8 curriculum focuses on the strong link between academic success and social emotional learning.

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Engaging a School Community with Mindful Moments

CHRIS STARR, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH:

At The Peck School in Morristown, parents (in addition to students) are learning that the practice of mindfulness improves cognitive abilities and increases brain density in areas associated with improved attention, learning, self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, happiness, and compassion.

At the forefront of this movement is Peck’s Mindfulness Trainer Suzy Becker. This past December she held a four-week course exclusively for parents entitled, “Introduction to Mindfulness.” The workshop not only presented neurological and psychological studies supporting the tremendous benefits of mindfulness, but also taught parents specific mindfulness techniques and introduced them to online and offline tools that support a practice of mindfulness.

We are often our own worst critic…

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