"The young people who manage to flourish against all odds are not exceptional or extraordinary. Rather, they are beneficiaries of what psychologist Ann Masten refers to as "ordinary magic"—protective processes that promote competence and healthy adaptation."
Dr. Lisa Damour, Psychologist, who recommends that schools provide the following...
"Children learn best when they feel a warm and authentic connection with their teachers."
Parker teachers intentionally prioritize building strong relationships so that students know they can rely on adults and each other. Parker students feel included and heard, protective characteristics that allow learning to bloom.
Photo Caption: "Time-in" from a teacher builds connections and supports learning.
A Sense of Purpose.
"Having a sense of purpose—pursuing personally meaningful activities that have positive consequences for others—buffers the negative effects of stress in children. "
Cultivating purposeful action is in Parker's mission statement, and the program is built around meaningful activities that benefit the community as a whole. Projects that are student centered support not only academic outcomes but emotional outcomes as well.
Photo Caption: 5th grader publishes a school essay in the COOP Scoop.
Predictability and Control.
"Resilience grows when young people have ways to feel that not everything is beyond their control."
Parker's schedule brings a much needed sense of routine and clear expectations. At the same time, teachers provide students with ample choices in order to build a sense of agency and control over their own learning. Being able to predict what comes next and have some control over it builds resilience and a sense of security.
Photo Caption: An interdisciplinary art/social studies project offers choice and a unique structure.
... in addition, Parker also prioritizes...
Spending Time in Nature.
Science and common sense are clear about the fact that time spent in nature reduces stress, builds resilience, and fosters curiosity. Parker's 77 acres of woods, streams, meadows, and pond offer a bevy of opportunities to explore and enjoy the fresh air. On top of 2 30 minute recesses everyday, our outdoor classrooms are used during instructional times as well.
Parker teachers know how to manage their own energy levels and take their own advice. The Parker schedule allows students and teachers to take time during the school day to practice their own self-care habits. Whether taking a walk in the woods, doing yoga or meditating, teachers and students are encouraged to take care of themselves.
A Like-Minded Parent Community.
The well being of parents is also an important aspect for child wellness and growth. At Parker, having a community of parents, and extended friends and family that are invested in the mission of progressive education can be extremely helpful and reassuring during times of uncertainty. Just like students, having a group of positive peers to support parents is important.
"Resilience is best taught when it is modeled and the dedicated teachers and staff continue to give master classes in this important life skill every single day."
We have always limited the number of students we accept into each classroom to ensure we can deliver a personalized learning experience. This year, and likely next year as well, we are limiting the number of students even more for the safety of everyone in our community and to ensure we follow all New York State guidelines. Some classes are already full and we expect others to fill up quickly as the year progresses.
If you are interested, we encourage you to reach out soon to schedule a call or tour.