A Fine Balance: Building Community and Fostering Independence

An important purpose of school is to help children become independent—and interdependent—adults, which involves creating distance between one’s self and one’s caregivers. At Turning Point we are careful to balance the supervision of students with opportunities for them to practice these skills. This means we must relinquish our own control to some degree and allow students to work things out for themselves before jumping in.

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Black History. Full Stop.

When we set aside time to impart to our students the powerful and compelling stories of people whose achievements are often veiled, we create opportunities to build racial and cultural understanding. We understand that we don’t want Black history to be a side issue, but one that, along with the contributions of other underrepresented people, helps us to build a richer, more accurate, and more nuanced picture of where we have come from, and more importantly, where we are going.

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The Secret to Stronger Outcomes

Research shows the more diverse a group is, the harder people in the group work to understand and solve a problem. Who we are has an effect on how we think; our experiences, training, work, social networks, and preferences contribute to our identity and therefore our cognitive approach to problem-solving. If creative people all have the same ideas, then the whole is just a reflection of the parts. If they differ in their ideas, they produce what is known as a “diversity bonus.”

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Fostering Excellence in Independent Schools

Those of us who work in independent schools have chosen this path in part because we appreciate the element of independence—which allows us the opportunity to innovate, to develop best practices which reflect the changing landscape of education and the world around us, and to put our own marks on our teaching.

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How to Make Your Holidays Happy

As you rush around this week to prepare for the holidays, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the obligations, real and imagined. This time of year can put an undue burden on us to have fun, to please our children and extended family, and to overconsume when perhaps we just want to maintain equilibrium. Here are a few things you can do to keep your holidays positive and balanced.

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Children: The Challenge

This week I share some highlights from Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs’s book, Children: The Challenge (1964), which revolutionized the way we think about child raising. Children are driven by a desire to belong in a group, and their behavior is goal-directed: they will repeat the behavior that gives them a sense of having a place and abandon behaviors which make them feel left out. As parents and educators, we need to understand that children’s natural inclination is to belong through being useful.

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The “Good Enough” Parent

I have always been heartened by the brilliant pediatrician Dr. D.W. Winnicott's notion of the good enough mother, with its emphasis on 'enough.' When children are presented with opportunities to face adversity on their own, they develop the confidence to understand that even though life provides many challenges, they have the wherewithal to navigate those challenges and to become stronger as a result. In short, 'good enough' parenting helps to build resilience in our children.

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Lessons from a Butterfly

“I’m the only one not playing Fortnite after school!” “If you don’t let me do it, I will be left out!” Do these pleas sound familiar? If so, you are not alone; as parents and educators, we are all in this together.

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The Many Benefits of Gratitude

Research shows that there are some very real and tangible benefits of gratitude that should inspire us all to practice thankfulness all year round. You probably already know that gratitude makes us happier. But here are some other surprising reasons you may want to make the practice of gratitude a regular part of your everyday life.

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