The 3Fs of Middle School: Fun, Focus, and Fitness

Dear Middle School Families,

This month I would like to focus on 3 Fs of middle school- Fun, Focus and Fitness. Our middle schoolers spend a great deal of time in academic classes learning new concepts, taking part in class discussions, studying for a variety of assessments and completing homework assignments. And in the midst of all of that they still find time for fun. They work hard to focus on their academics and we encourage them to take part in fitness activities so that they have both a strong mind and strong body.

Fun

Each morning students greet each other as they arrive at school and check in at the attendance table, some sing along to our morning playlist too! They sit together in their hallway before classes begin- chatting with each other, checking out scores on ESPN, and laughing over silly moments from class or home. At lunch, they dash to the dining commons to eat, enjoying classmates’ conversations and planning on what to do after they have eaten- heading to a club meeting, taking a walk outside or getting involved in a game on the turf field or in the gym. After school they join teammates or cast and crew members to practice for a game or rehearse a scene or dance number for an upcoming show. Despite the rigors of our curriculum, our students do need time for fun- whether it is organized via our new intramural program or happens organically when a group of students decide to take a walk on a sunny day around the campus. Students often share fun events they take part in at home or in the community too. In our hectic schedules we need to find space for lighthearted moments of fun and laughter. It is good for the soul!

Focus 

I enjoy dropping in on classes and staying for a few minutes to hear a discussion, watch a presentation or look over the shoulders of students as they complete a group project. In these brief moments, I am gratified to see how our students focus on the task at hand, recognizing the importance of their contribution to what is going on in the classroom community. I see that same level of intensity on the turf field or the stage when our students take part in a competition or the middle school musical. And I also see it in quiet moments, when I pop in the library and see students relaxing in a bean bag chair intent upon finishing a chapter or book series they have been reading. Honor those quiet moments of focus and intensity- our students learn so much from these moments about who they are as students, athletes, actors and individuals.

Fitness

Our students love their Physical Education classes. They love to run, jump and compete. Let’s encourage that enthusiasm- before students start their homework each evening- let them take some time to walk the dog, or shoot some hoops or go to dance or karate class. Suggest a walk or bike ride with your son or daughter. I often find that our students offer more in terms of conversation if they are involved in an activity. We can learn so much from them if we take some time for these moments. Clearing the mind of the day’s work is valuable and it will allow our students to recharge their batteries and reset their attitude. Here at school we have started an intramural program at lunch for our students to give them time to exercise with classmates and enjoy some friendly competition where they learn the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

So find some time for fun and fitness- we all need it in our busy lives and our students do too! It will allow them (and us) to have a clearer focus on the tasks we need to do and the challenges we meet each day.

Warmly,

Chris Farrell