Debbie Fiske, Director of Athletics

During recent years, many young athletes have experienced increasing pressure to specialize in one sport and play it year round. Some of this pressure comes from well-intentioned parents and coaches who believe that the only way for a child to achieve excellence in a sport and win a college athletic scholarship is to play that sport exclusively.

But my experiences as an athlete, coach and athletics director lead me to believe that this push for athletic specialization is misguided. I’ve learned that playing multiple sports not only broadens and enriches a child’s overall athletic experience but also actually enhances the student’s success in his or her target sport.

At Kingswood Oxford, we feel that it’s especially important for young athletes to compete in a different sport in each season, even if they excel in one target sport. Here are five reasons why:

1. Cross-training prevents injuries


Athletes who play a single sport all the time are continually using the same muscle groups. This can lead not only to stress and fatigue in tissues and joints but also to break down and injury. A good example of such overuse is the deterioration of the elbow ligament in baseball pitchers’arms that necessitates “Tommy John surgery.”

2. Playing different sports builds transferable skills


Though sports differ widely, each one teaches skills that enhance an athlete’s performance in other sports. Movements, strategies and mental attributes, such as resilience and stamina, learned in one sport enhance a student’s athletic achievement in other sports. My own experiences on the varsity field hockey and track teams during high school, for instance, proved invaluable during my career on the University of Connecticut basketball team. Many of the concepts of field hockey –give and go, speeding down the sidelines, putting teammates in the right position –were readily transferable to the basketball court, while being a sprinter, hurdler and jumper on the track team increased many skills needed for basketball –speed, flexibility, jumping ability and mental concentration.

3. Variety prevents burnout


No matter how much an athlete loves a sport, doing the same warm-ups, drills, and practices without variation can become drudgery and leave the athlete feeling stale. By contrast, each season of a different sport brings different training, coaches, and goals. This novelty refreshes and energizes athletes so they can approach their target sports with even anticipation and vigor when they return to them.

4. All sports develop team-playing skills


Athletes participating in different sports often have opportunities to play different roles than they do on teams in their target sports. Because they may not be the stars or even the starting players, they learn to play supporting roles, thus gaining valuable perspectives on teamwork, sacrifice, and leadership. These experiences will serve them well when they move on to college, where they’ll likely be playing supporting roles, especially as freshmen.

5. Playing different sports sharpens critical thinking skills
The human brain loves variety and novelty. When athletes periodically confront and master a new set of skills, situations, challenges and team dynamics, they increase their sports I.Q. and develop critical thinking skills that can enhance their academic performance as well.


Ann Sciglimpaglia, Director of the Middle School
When I tell someone that I teach middle schoolers, I often hear this response: “You have my sympathies. How can you possibly deal with kids at that crazy, dreadful, hormonal age?”
I don’t feel that way. In fact, I love working with middle schoolers precisely because they’re changing so fast. Yes, they may seem to be in turmoil, but that’s because they’re beginning to think for themselves, to become more open to ideas, to explore their own identities, and to see connections between their lives and the larger world around them.

Rather than fearing this volatile phase in children’s lives, we should embrace it as an exciting time of physical, intellectual and emotional metamorphosis and growth. In fact, the same behaviors and emotions of middle schoolers that can sometimes make dealing with them so challenging, are not obstacles but opportunities. Their inherent energy, curiosity and passion can be guided and nurtured to help them become thoughtful, confident and independent young people.

As teachers and parents, we can foster this process by embracing the intrinsic attributes of middle schoolers:

Middle Schoolers love to be active. They sprint, spring, shove, jostle and lurch. Impulsive and impatient, they often can’t sit still.

Middle school teachers capitalize on this kinetic energy by devising hands-on classroom activities that provide opportunities for students to move around, construct projects, and interact with one another. This might involve building a volcano in science, creating a human timeline in history, or acting out a scene from a play in English.

Such “learning-by-doing” enterprises provide middle schoolers with more leeway, responsibility and mastery, equipping them with skills such as initiative, creativity and self-direction.

Middle schoolers want to know about everything. Physically, their bodies are growing astronomically and their brains are like sponges as they absorb new ideas. They’re fascinated by anything that’s creative and original. This continual quest for novelty is one reason they’re so likely to condemn a conventional, adult-suggested activity as “boring.”

Both parents and teachers can build on this curiosity by challenging students to explore new ideas, discover alternative ways to solve problems, or go off the beaten track to investigate a topic that fascinates them.

By pursuing new subjects and ideas, middle school students are making the natural and exciting transition from literal to abstract thinking and drawing connections between many different realms. Their minds are exploding with scintillating ideas they’ve never considered before. From this intoxicating experience, they imbibe a lifelong love of learning.

Yes, it’s true. Middle schoolers are emotional, often veering instantaneously from blissful elation to blubbering dejection. Sometimes they’re able to restrain their emotions at school, but, upon returning to the safer environment of home, they let their feelings fly as they defy, disrespect and disregard their parents.

Middle schoolers are discovering their identities and, in the process, trying out different kinds of faces to figure out which one feels right. That’s why they’re sometimes laughing themselves silly at a goofy video and the next minute having a serious conversation with you about the international refugee crisis.

This emotional volatility is completely normal, and it’s important that parents and teachers show patience and embrace the valleys as well as the peaks. These sudden mood swings are natural twists and turns on the long road to maturity.

Back to the Future
Because KO is a grade 6–12 school, I’ve been able to follow many of my former middle school students as they progress in their careers at the Upper School. It’s a moving experience to watch a student who struggled through moments of doubt, insecurity or impulsiveness at the Middle School stride across the graduation stage as a confident and capable young adult. As a Middle School teacher, I’m extremely proud to have played a part in that process.


Jane Repp, Interim Director of Teaching and Learning
The explosive growth of knowledge and technology during the 21st century requires future leaders who will be able not only to absorb new information but also to evaluate, analyze and interpret it and apply it to new situations in innovative and creative ways. They must also be able to think critically and work collaboratively with others.
How is Kingswood Oxford, a private school in Connecticut, preparing its students to meet these challenges?
Own It
As a faculty, we believe that students learn most effectively, deeply and joyfully when they take ownership of their learning.
Rather than merely memorizing information from a teacher or textbook, students should instead be learning how to use information to solve problems, to devise and assess multiple interpretations, and to create their own meaning and understanding. Students need to become skilled at actually using the material they are learning, not merely showing that they know it.
Team Up
Collaboration is a key component of this process. By working together to solve problems, students generate a much wider range of ideas than they would individually, learn to handle the give-and-take of exchanging different viewpoints, and savor the satisfaction of reaching consensus.
All these approaches make learning more personal, more enjoyable and more meaningful for students.
Take Action
With this educational model in mind, KO teachers have set a challenge for themselves this year: How can we create new learning experiences in our classrooms to raise the level of ownership for all students?
Practice What We Preach
In working together to answer this question, our teachers have themselves become vigorous learners –mirroring and modeling the same curiosity, growth, collaboration, feedback and creativity they seek to foster in their students.
During a two-day workshop before classes began last August, the KO faculty, guided by Sarah Prevette and Sandra Nagy of the innovative development program for educators Future Design School, explored the concepts and methods of student ownership of learning.
Then each teacher devised his or her own classroom activity or project designed to provide students with the opportunity to make meaning for themselves by applying their knowledge to a problem and solving it.
Finally, teachers broke into small groups where they shared their projects with one another, received feedback, and discussed modifications. As the school year began and teachers implemented their projects in the classroom, they met regularly to share their experiences and gain the perspectives of their colleagues.
Just Do It
Here is a brief sampling of some of the innovative classroom activities teachers have initiated this year:
•Seniors in Alex Kraus’s physics class launched rockets from the football field to study their trajectories.
•Sixth graders in Beth Repp’s English class drew mind maps depicting the plot, characters, settings and themes of a novel they were reading.
•Instead of taking a written exam, students in Jen Weeks’s French class delivered a presentation on how something they’d read could be applied to the KO community.
•As a summative assessment at the end of the first semester, each eighth grader in Introduction to Physical Science was presented with a substance and challenged to determine its chemical composition using the laboratory techniques they had studied.
•Students in Natalie Lynd’s calculus class engaged in a student-led Harkness discussion about problem-solving strategies.
Love Learning
Through creative projects like these, KO’s teachers are inspiring students to develop ownership of their education, to improve their collaborative skills, to apply their knowledge creatively to real-world situations, and, perhaps most important of all, to love learning.


Writing an essay or paper, no matter what its subject or required length, can be a challenging task for any student.

Here are five guidelines that can help your writing process be more productive, efficient and satisfying.

1. Read the directions for the assignment carefully. Sometimes students are in such haste to begin writing that they overlook the details of the teacher’s expectations. Ask yourself, What is my teacher looking for?”

Search for keywords in the assignment, such as analyze,” “evaluate,” “compare,” “explain,” and assess.” Sometimes assignments also include subcategories that can help you organize the paper, such as an English assignment that mentions plot, character, and setting, or a history assignment that cites economy, politics, and religion.

Pay close attention to the required or suggested length of the paper. You don’t want the paper to receive a low grade because it’s either too short or too long.

2. Think before you write. An astronaut who was asked what she would do if she were stuck in space with only ten seconds of oxygen left replied, I would think for nine seconds, and then I’d take action.”

Planning is everything. Brainstorm and write down any ideas that come to mind, no matter how far-fetched. (Some students find it helpful to use the voice-to-text function on their computers or cellphones so they can talk through their ideas as the device writes them down.)

Then distill your best ideas into a clear thesis statement that directly addresses the topic posed by the assignment. Now that youve formulated your ideas, you can organize them into an outline or graphic organizer that includes your essential points. Then make a list of key terms – characters, events, quotations, details – to use as examples or evidence in your paper.

3. Don’t write your introductory paragraph first. Many students try so hard to craft captivating and compelling introductions that they become bogged down and lose momentum.

Once you’ve generated the thesis, outline, and list of key terms, dive right into writing your first body paragraph (which will eventually become the second paragraph of your paper).

After you’ve written the body of the paper, consolidate the ideas you’ve already expressed and developed into both the introduction and conclusion.

4. Topic sentences are key. The first sentence of each body paragraph (its topic sentence) should present the key idea of the paragraph and provide a clear transition from the preceding paragraph.

This transition can be indicated with words such as in addition,” “by contrast,” “another aspect,” “also,” “nevertheless,” “a further example.”

Topic sentences are the road signs of your paper, telling the reader where you’re going, and connecting the next part of the journey with where you’ve just been.

5. Proofread. Don’t rely only on spelling or grammar checkers or on visually proofreading a hard copy of the paper to catch errors. After you’ve completed the paper, use the speak to text function on your computer to read the text aloud as you follow along on the screen. This is especially helpful in catching omitted or repeated words and detecting sentences that are clunky or awkward.

While these guidelines can be helpful in crafting a successful paper, there’s no substitute for talking with your teacher directly when you have questions either before or during the writing process. Teachers at Kingswood Oxford are always open to working with students develop their ideas and finesse their essays and papers as they empower students to own their learning.


Zaira Santiago, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs, formerly Director of College Advising
For many students, the college application process has become a grueling forced march: take as many high-powered courses as you can, prep hard for the SATs and ACTs, and assemble a long “brag list” of as many sports, clubs and activities as possible.
Why this grinding ritual? Because that’s what many students believe “selective” colleges want to see on the applications of prospective students.
But this admissions template is rapidly changing. In early 2016, the Harvard Graduate School of Education issued an influential report that strongly challenged this conventional scenario. Titled “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good Through College Admissions,” the report urged colleges to place more emphasis on their applicants’ “ethical citizenship”: the ways in which students have provided meaningful and sustained service to others. (To read the full report online, please go to
Many colleges have taken up this challenge by starting to consider more carefully how students have demonstrated kindness, passion, and commitment to improving the lives of others. Being a good person is now more important to colleges than an activities checklist.

In assessing students’ ethical citizenship, colleges are focusing on five qualities:

Depth of Involvement

Many students list a variety of occasional volunteer or community service activities on their college applications. But now colleges are favoring quality over quantity; they’re seeking out students who demonstrate a sustained and wholehearted commitment to a single project. They want to see students take ownership of one meaningful and consequential endeavor and lead it to completion, and students often devote their college essays to describing this experience.



Colleges are most interested in community service involvement that stems from a student’s own authentic interests rather than from convenience or obligation. A student who loves animals or the ocean or sports, for instance, will find greater meaning in projects that involve these passions.

In recent years, several Kingswood Oxford students where I work have devised and implemented service projects sparked by their own predilections. Last year, for instance, one senior pursued her interest in environmental sustainability by designing, constructing and maintaining an on-campus garden that continues to provide vegetables for the school’s cafeteria. Her classmate turned his love for classic cars into a kindness project by organizing a car show on campus and donating its admission proceeds to the American Cancer Society for colon cancer research.

Acting Locally


While it’s become common and even fashionable for students to take exotic service trips to faraway places, colleges are now just as interested in students who have made a difference in their own communities, whether it’s sprucing up a local playground, visiting disabled veterans, or addressing a pattern of bullying or social exclusion at their schools.

Service to Family

An often hidden component of many students’ lives is their deep dedication to their families. They may be caring for younger siblings or grandparents, taking major responsibility for household tasks, such as cooking, cleaning or shopping, or working at jobs outside the home to provide needed family income.

Day-to-day kindness

Ethical citizenship is manifest, not only in volunteer projects but also in a student’s daily interactions with friends, classmates, and adults. Is the student friendly, helpful and attentive to the needs of others on a day-to-day basis? College recommendations written by teachers, coaches, college counselors and employers often reflect a student’s day-to-day kindness.


Joan Edwards, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency

It’s no secret that we are currently living in a climate of political, social and cultural divisiveness. Mistrust festers among Americans over race, class, geography, religion, political ideology and gender orientation. In recent decades, many of us have retreated to our own islands of belief – protected, isolated petri dishes where everyone agrees with one another.

As this battle roars on, our children are caught in the crossfire. This extreme polarization affects their friendships, classroom discussions, and even family relationships, adding to the anxiety they may already feel about schoolwork, athletics, activities, and relationships.

What can we do as parents, teachers, and advisors to guide children as they seek both to understand this discord and also to play a role in reducing it? In my role as Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Comeptency where I work at Kingswood Oxford, a private school, I have found these guidelines to be healthy and productive to meaningful conversations with my students.

Explain why this is happening
One way to help reduce adolescents’ anxiety about the current polarization is to explain the forces that are causing it. Our media thrive in ratings and revenue by playing up conflict, so news stories are saturated with words and images of anger, hostility, and resentment. The devolution of the national news media into “liberal” and “conservative” news outlets has also played a role.

Another prime driver of this discord is the Internet. Its instantaneity and anonymity invite insulting, demeaning and angry postings that are much more difficult to say in person. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and other apps thrive on a “hashtag mentality” designed for us to quickly determine what we believe to be the condensed version of the issue. Within our social media networks, we operate in an ideological echo chamber as people we have admitted to our circle of “friends” click and comment as they mostly share our interests and beliefs. We are, in effect, really talking to ourselves.

Encourage thoughtful introspection

Both adults and adolescents can benefit from challenging their own beliefs. Courage comes from questioning what we hold to be true and right. We can inspire courageous and thoughtful self-awareness if our students can ask themselves: What hidden biases might lie beneath my viewpoints? Why do I hate that group so much? Why am I afraid to speak to someone who disagrees with me? Why do I doubt the authenticity of that group of students who want to be friends with me? Such self-reflection can lead to a greater understanding, not only of one’s own motivations, but also those of others.

Advocate exploration of a range of ideas or opinions

Let’s challenge our children to leave their islands of belief and sail to other shores. How can someone authentically understand the culture of another country without going there? This takes courage. We can suggest that our child seek out one other student who holds views different from his or her own and, then to ask that student, in person, why he or she holds those beliefs. Engaging in such constructive, mutually respectful, face-to-face conversations can break down misconceptions and hostility and lead to the surprising discovery of common ideological ground.

Ask open-ended questions
Instead of posing questions that elicit only gut responses, e.g., “What do you think of President Trump?” we adults can initiate more broad-minded discussions with questions such as, “Is political correctness killing conversation?” or “Why do you think our nation is so polarized right now?”

Prompts like these challenge students to lean into the gray area and explore complexities and contradictions. Recent studies have shown that students develop a greater sense of belonging and connection in a school where such topics are debated rather than swept under the rug.

Further resources
In guiding students trying to cope with our current ideological divides, I’ve found two books especially helpful:
“Braving the Wilderness – The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown (Random House, $28)
“Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald (Bantam, $17).


Jackie Rubin, Director of Academic Skills
Although people learn and study in different ways, there are a few strategies that are effective for everyone. By following the guidelines below, students can find longer-lasting learning and improved results on assessments.
  1. Start early. Cramming does work, but it comes at a price: Increased stress for only short-term gain. Ideally, students should be reviewing gradually and regularly so that they are always engaged with the material and prepared for assessments.
  1. Study in small pieces over time. Break up test preparation into specific tasks (memorizing terms, making a study guide, doing practice problems, writing an essay outline) and plan backward from the test date.
  1. Use active study strategies: Avoid just mindlessly reading over notes. Instead, students can read their notes aloud, teach someone else the information, redo past assessments, walk around while memorizing, or participate in a study group.
  1. Utilize practice quizzing/testing. This is a crucial piece in building retention and retrieval pathways. Quizlet and plain old-fashioned flash cards allow for easy self-quizzing.

At Kingswood Oxford, a private school, where I help students develop strategies for success, students can readily speak to their advisors each week about the challenges they are facing. I always encourage students to talk to their teachers directly and develop an interactive partnership to help them understand not just what to learn, but how to learn, too.


Dan Bateson, Director of Technology

The increasing use of the Internet and cellphones by adolescents creates significant challenges for parents. When used appropriately, these technologies can add value to children’s lives by providing access to vast sources of information as well as meaningful interactions with family members and friends.

But they can also expose children to disturbing images and ideas, harassment, exploitation, and violence. Even when Internet content is benign, the excessive use of technology drains children’s time and energy away from schoolwork, real-world activities, and face-to-face interactions.

What can parents do to ensure their children are accessing the Internet safely, productively and appropriately when they’re at home?

Technical Measures


• Be sure to tell your child what technical measures you’ve taken to monitor them so that they don’t feel blindsided or snooped on.
• Use the Internet safety programs built into computers. Windows users can access the Family Safety Account. Mac users can choose Apple’s Parental Controls. Both of these programs allow parents to block specific websites and applications, disable the built-in camera, and choose the people their children can message with.
• Configure a safety service on their home Wi-Fi router. OpenDNS, for instance, offers a free program called Family Shield to block inappropriate content.This service allows parents to control all Wi-Fi traffic on devices and to block fraudulent messages and proxy servers (which children sometimes use to circumvent parental controls).
• Parents who seek more granular control of their kid’s internet/social media usage can configure one of several programs on their child’s devices. These include AVG Family Safety, Qustodio and Net Nanny 7.

• None of these systems is foolproof. Tech-savvy children can figure out how to bypass almost any protective program.

Non-technical Measures


• Encourage children to use a family desktop computer in a shared space that’s visible to everyone. If a desktop or laptop is located in a child’s bedroom, make sure that the screen faces toward the door.
• Require children to charge any mobile devices in YOUR bedroom each night. This will prevent them from staying up late to play games, messaging or talking on the cell phone.
• Obtain your children’s passwords. By being able to log-in to your child’s accounts at any time, parents can see everything their child is doing online.
• Talk to your children regularly about Internet safety. The more children know about the distractions, distortions, and dangers of the Internet, the more responsible they’ll be as digital citizens. Ask them about their Internet activities and familiarize yourself with the sites your children are visiting. In your conversations, emphasize that there’s no privacy on the Internet and that anything they’ve ever posted is archived there. Even a brief Snapchat post can be screen-shot and permanently captured. Urge your children to tell you if they ever feel bullied, harassed or uncomfortable in any way when using technology.
•Trust your gut. Observe your children for any sign of inappropriate or excessive Internet use. These include:
      • Shifts in the location of Internet use. A child who always used the computer in the family room, for instance, might suddenly start using it only in his or her bedroom.
      • Tiredness or a crankiness. A child who is staying up late to be online or to text will be sleep deprived.

      • Decline in grades or loss of interest in non-computer activities. These could be signs of overuse of technology.

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Will Gilyard, Dean of Students
When children encounter difficulty or disappointment, parents are sometimes tempted to try to rescue their children.
They might rush to school to deliver a forgotten homework assignment, call the school to excuse a skipped class, or allow a child to stay home to avoid a challenging test.
But such interventions, while well-intentioned, can actually deprive children of essential opportunities to build resilience, self-advocacy, and independence.

Every situation and every child is different, of course. But, based on my experience working with students and parents, I offer these guidelines:

Adversity teaches life lessons


When children face and overcome setbacks on their own, they learn to solve problems, to make adjustments, and to stand up for themselves. They develop flexibility, persistence, and courage.
When children make mistakes, meaningful and reasonable consequences can work wonders. The student who earns a low grade for missed homework learns to make a checklist of items to bring to school. The student who receives a Saturday detention for missing class will suddenly achieve perfect attendance. The unprepared student who takes the test as scheduled will start studying earlier next time –and might even do much better on the test than he expected!

But when parents intervene in such situations, they’re actually sending the child this message: “You’re not capable of handling this yourself; you still need our help.”Such over-parenting undercuts a child’s sense of self-worth and self-confidence.

Take the long view


When parents hear negative news, whether it’s a disappointing grade, a social snub, a disciplinary penalty or an athletic frustration, their initial reaction is often to lash out at either the child or the school or both.
This response is normal and understandable. It’s very hard to see your child in pain, whether it’s caused by a skinned knee or a bad grade.
But it’s also important to maintain perspective and to ask what your child can learn from this experience that will help him or her to resolve similar situations in the future.

It’s easy to fix things for your child now. It’s much harder to step back for a while and allow the child to grow wiser and stronger by solving problems independently.

Discuss the problem with your child


Allowing a child to work through a difficult situation independently doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to him or her about it. Listen carefully to your child’s description of the situation and then help him or her to identify needed changes, to develop new strategies, and to find new ways of tackling challenges.

During this process, remember that teachers, advisors, counselors, and coaches will also be providing encouragement, support, and resources to help your child respond to adversity with thoughtfulness, optimism, and ingenuity.

Assess the stakes

When deciding whether to intervene, consider the level of adversity being faced by your child. If it’s a low-stakes infraction, such as forgotten homework, a missed class, or a low grade, let the child address the problem without your intervention.

But when there’s evidence of serious academic or behavioral difficulties, or of social exclusion, bullying or harassment, parents should step in right away.

Consider these resources

For parents interested in further discussions of these issues, I highly recommend two recent books:
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn To Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey, and Permission To Parent: How To Raise Your Child With Love and Limits by Robin Berman.


Natalie Demers, Former Associate Head of School

When young people ponder their future lives as adults, they’re usually thinking of a job, a title, or a profession. But I would suggest that they consider these questions instead: What fascinates me? What problems do I want to solve? Where do I want to make a difference?

As they ask these questions, it may be helpful to consider the following guidelines:


Embrace Your Curiosity


Rather than falling into well-trodden paths where you think you should go, spend your high-school years discovering what fascinates you.
Try to ascertain what moves you, what prompts you to try to know more and to do more. What endeavor or enterprise makes you want to shout, “I want to be part of THAT!”?
Your true passion doesn’t always strike you like a bolt of lightning. Discovering it sometimes demands initiative, risk-taking and entering unfamiliar environments. As you explore, don’t look simply for the easy open doors; knock on the closed doors and open them.

Each year, make an effort to try something new, whether it’s enrolling in an intriguing course, joining a new club or auditioning for the school play.


Learn To Solve Problems


Our world is changing so rapidly that the career you eventually pursue might not even exist yet. But one skill you’ll need in any career is the ability to solve problems.
Your school offers you the chance to practice tackling problems now –in the science lab, art studio, classroom or club meeting.

Then, when you enter the work world, you’ll be an experienced problem-solver, capable of adapting to a multitude of scenarios. This transferable skill will prepare you for anything, making you an indispensable leader in any enterprise.


Be Persistent


Problem-solving is hard. Solutions will not always come quickly and sometimes they won’t come at all. When you encounter a problem, big or small, dive into it with grit, determination, and persistence.
As you strive to solve problems, be self-aware and notice your own reactions and responses to the process. Ask yourself, What did I do well? Where could I have done better? How did I respond to challenges, setbacks, suggestions from others? What did I learn about myself?
And when the problem is seemingly “solved,” don’t stop there. Take full ownership of your work. Revise and polish your solution until it’s accurate, thorough and complete –so that you can present it to your teacher and classmates with pride.

Proofread your papers and lab reports, check your math test for careless errors, and review your French homework for proper accent marks.


Care Beyond Self


South African leader Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.” His words might prompt you to consider how your passion and problem-solving can help others.
If you’re interested in medicine, what diseases do you want to cure? If you enjoy writing, what human issues do you want to address? If you’re intrigued by business, what services or products do you want to provide to enhance the lives of others?
By considering these questions, your education will not only enrich your own life but the lives of others as well.