Growing Through Challenges

by Miryam
At SGS, we think expansively about our mission and how we can “develop courageous leaders who think independently.” As our students grow in independence during their middle school years, we find that there is a natural ebb and flow of when they push us adults away and when they call us to their rescue. Therefore we guide our students to be resilient when facing challenges - although minor - every day. 

We have all adapted to our new building and our new schedules. Likewise, as we finish the Fall term, your student has grown to adapt into their new school year and their grade-level routines. With that adaptation comes predictability and a feeling of comfort or even safety in the familiar. But even then, hiccups always occur.   

These hiccups can range from a student forgetting their team uniform at home, their school computer in their room, their homework on the kitchen table, or their lunch bag in the car. All small challenges may feel like high stakes when a student  arrives at school without these items.  However, after talking to their advisor, checking in with a teacher, or running to the front desk - your student will receive the same reassuring message: “It will be ok because we have what you need at school. Let’s brainstorm some solutions together.”

Why don’t we recommend that students immediately call home? Why do we discourage students from texting or emailing their adults directly? Because we want to minimize rescue behaviors that may be preventing your student’s growth. We regularly lean into these challenging moments of discomfort. True learning and growth happens when they are challenged and engaged. It is ok for students to feel the natural consequences of their actions and to engage in productive struggle.  

Yes, we do have all the things your student needs to be productive at school if something is left behind. We have extra jerseys so they can participate in school sports. We have spare computers that they can borrow for their classes. We have snacks ready to give your student when they forget their lunch or don’t pack enough to eat. However, because we don’t have their homework, if that is left behind, it will require your student to talk to their teacher to explain what happened and to create a plan together. 

We want to partner with families to build independence in our students. This may look different to every family, so we encourage adults at home to have a conversation with their student about how they can learn and grow through these small challenges at school.  

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Located in the Central District, Seattle Girls' School is an independent school for girls and gender nonconforming students in grades 5-8. Our mission is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.