At Turning Point School, we know the best way to optimize meaningful learning involves considering and attending to all facets of our students’ well-being – intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional. By inspiring and challenging each student to find their unique equation within these five areas, we help them discover the core elements that fuel motivation and success.
Our strengths-based approach to teaching and learning focuses on each student’s unique “positive equation for achievement” that helps them pursue increasingly challenging goals, perform better, and persist longer on challenges. It helps them navigate difficult situations more resiliently and inspires them to share their authentic selves and genuine talents with others. It is a profound marker of future success of all kinds, and creates the traits we want to see in those who will, one day in the not-too-distant future, inherit our planet.
We are all social beings who depend on each other for connection, cooperation, and competition. Status anxiety, predicated on the position we feel we occupy on the ladder of success, functions because our self-identity depends on the approval of others. I look at our school and feel so grateful for the thoughtful guidance, purposeful direction, and positive encouragement our students receive. If status anxiety is about feeling alone, unloved, and unworthy, the education Turning Point provides and the community we build provides antidotes to these deep worries.
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.
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.