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News From the Principal's Desk

All of us have been assembling our stories since birth and our children are doing the same thing at Madeira Middle School.  As they grow, move through puberty, and friendships morph and change, their stories may change in a more radical way than our own do – for they are in the process of “becoming” and we have for the most part “become” who we are as adults.  The concept of having a growth mindset does mean all of us can work to change our stories.  We can work to overcome stories that give us feelings that may result in emotional or intellectual instability and replace them with stories that affirm who we are as people, help us to own our actions, thoughts, and words, and put us in a position of personal advocacy and power.  This is easier said than done! 

My request of all of us (me included) is to make a commitment to look at our own stories and ask the following questions – “How do these stories impact my view of the world?”   “Do my stories need changing in order for me to be a better version of myself?”  If we  can ask these hard questions of ourselves, then we can not only work for a better tomorrow as adults, but also model these same questions and strategies for our children as they grow and develop throughout middle and high school years.  Thank you for your partnership and work you do with us on behalf of your students – we are grateful for you!

Angst Seen at MMS

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday we showed the movie Angst to our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  After the movie was shown, we had each grade level return to their classrooms in smaller groups (usually the homeroom size of about 25) to discuss some of the topics covered in the movie.  Our school counselor, Julia Cabral, our school psychologist, Rosemary Becher, and our school-based therapist from Children’s Hospital, Heather Price, spearheaded the work done with our students.  Students had the opportunity to write a question down on a notecard and turn it in to help us further understand some of the issues on the minds of our students.  This was a very similar to the process we followed at our parent engagement evening in November with many of you. 

Students were thoughtful in their responses and questions they asked.  Here is what their responses looked like: 

  • It can be hard to open up about these issues because it can be hard to trust someone with them.
  • Students learned physical ways to deal with anxiety – to have their minds focus on something else.
  • There are different kinds of anxieties that students did not know existed.
  • The best thing you can do for a friend is listen.
  • Some people suffer from anxiety and don’t realize it.
  • There is normal anxiety that people have every day – that is okay and different from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety shows up differently in everyone.
  • There are many different ways to cope with anxiety – such as holding ice cubes in your hand or taking several deep breathes.
  • Don’t be anxious for anything you don’t need to be anxious for.
  • Sometimes you have to be patient with people and try to understand what they are going through to help them. 

We will continue to work with staff on recognizing anxiety in our students and also recognizing times (test days for example) when we might want to encourage everyone to take a few deep breathes, close their eyes and relax in the moment.  We appreciated your support at the parent engagement night and in showing this movie to our students.  Thank you!

Dates to Note

  • Friday, December 7th – 9:30 a.m. - Geography Bee in the media center
  • Friday, December 7th – Empty Bowls – 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. – cafeteria and gym
  • Tuesday, December 11th – 7/8 Band and Choir Concert – 7:00 p.m. – Medert Auditorium
  • Wednesday, December 12th – PTO Holiday meeting – 10:00 a.m. – media center
  • Friday, December 14th – 9:30 a.m. - Spelling Bee in the media center
  • Wednesday, December 19th and Thursday, December 20th – No foreign language or honors algebra 2 for 8th graders – all 8th graders should report to MMS at 8:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, December 20th – Variety Show – show times to be announced
  • Thursday, December 20th – Last day of school before winter break – the first semester ends.

For other important community announcements impacting our students don’t forget to click on this link Student Opportunities to find out more about club sports, youth and community sports, and other activities available to our middle school students.  

  • Futsal League – a modified form of soccer – played on a basketball court  - registration information.
  • Rec Basketball and Youth Wrestling – they are still posted, and seasons are underway. 

As the semester comes to an end (Thursday, December 20th), continue to log onto Schoology on a regular basis to check on your child’s progress.  Please email a teacher (please use the Madeira City Schools email address) or contact the office (561-5555) if you have any questions.  Thank you again for all you do to help your student(s) be successful!

Thank you,

Tom





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