We had a solid turnout last evening at the first parent forum of the year. I also received several emails from parents indicating they regretted the inability to attend. We discussed the excerpts from Saint John Paul II shared in previous newsletters. Our context was setup by closely examining empirical data from Jean Twenge. Here are a few takeaways from our discussion:
- Technology - and not just the exploding use of personal mobile devices - has triggered a sustained pattern of increased levels of self-reported stress by adolescents.
- It may not be enough to merely remove technology use; young people need the fill that time with formative activities (for example: instruction in how to use an atlas instead of using a GPS).
- The imaginative powers of the mind must be cultivated by allowing for empty time, and in these instances, boredom becomes the catalyst for creativity.
- The witness and example set by adults are the most powerful solution in this struggle to reclaim not just the powers of the mind, but the right order of relationships and social-emotional intelligence in young people.
For years now I have detected this undeniable thirst in parents to engage with a community of families with the same vision and mission. It did become evident to me as the evening progressed how much we need to facilitate this here at our school. And this is not a task that belongs to any one person, but quite honestly all of us.
My hope is that we can continue this dialogue in at least two formal settings moving forward: one, the morning coffee hours on the second Tuesday of the month; and then in these parent seminars that are based on textual discussion. We will announce another parent seminar in the coming weeks, which will likely take place after Christmas (given the hectic pace we are all about to enter).
I also want to recommend that all parents sign up for a parent-teacher conference. There is nothing more essential to a successful education than direct interpersonal communication between parents and teachers.
And during this month of All Souls', we will be praying for all of the deceased members of our families and school community.
Yours Truly in Christ,
Derek Tremblay, Headmaster