Word on the Street: October 2018
In this edition of Word on the Street we share our latest adventures connecting with the students of Escondido High School.
We were invited by Mrs. Adams and Mrs. Allen to their Senior English classes who are preparing to write their essays for college admission. Admittedly many of the students were not planning to go to a four-year University right after high school, but that didn’t stop us for helping them explore what it means to use an ‘authentic voice’ in writing essays in general. In fact, as we started each session we explored what authenticity actually means.
According to Brené Brown, the definition of authenticity is: “A collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” This is not always easy, especially in high school, as the choice to be seen comes with high risks of also being rejected. But the students certainly shared that they valued authenticity, even if it was difficult to be authentic at times. We explored the core of authenticity as being willing to be vulnerable, or ‘brave,’ as we described it.
“It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
In order to write authentically it is important to be vulnerable with our audience. The prompts that are given to students to write about for admissions often invite them to share about a challenging life experience and how this shaped who they are as an individual. Students explored in our class what challenges they have faced in their lives that they have actually grown or become a better person because of it.
“Many students did not feel confident in writing and didn’t have very nice things to say about themselves in the process…. We practiced ways to shift that dialogue; to reframe what they tell themselves throughout the day.”
As a way to address the mind in the process of writing, we explored self-talk during the process of writing. Many students did not feel confident in writing and didn’t have very nice things to say about themselves in the process. Negative dialogue can make the writing process more difficult and prevent authentic sharing for fear of not doing it well or not feeling brave to share what is really on their mind. We practiced ways to shift that dialogue to reframe what they tell themselves throughout the day.
The students also shared that they often felt stuck and did not know what to write. We shared strategies like journaling to help ‘prime the pump’ for their writing. When you write often, writing becomes easier, ideas start to flow, ideas get fleshed out. We encouraged journaling not only for the practice, but also to help students clear their mind, getting all of the ‘stories’ and challenges of life on paper rather than in their head.
A flow state, as defined by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, is an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.”
Finally, we explored the concept of ‘Flow States.’ A flow state, as defined by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, is an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Flow states allow us to open up our minds and allow creativity to flow. Most of the athletes in the room were able to relate to that state where they feel “in the zone”. When they are laser focused and are fully present in the game or activity. Skateboarding, walking, singing, dancing, and any physical activity were identified as possible activities to engage in to get into a flow state.
The truth is that all of those activities require you to breathe a little deeper than when you are in a resting state. So we decided instead of a game of basketball, we would do some breathing together instead. The main idea we wanted to get across was really around state-changes as a whole, but the kids got the general idea and some were really inspired by how flow states stimulated by breathing or movement could cross over into other projects, assignments and work.
As an organization driven by feedback, here’s some of the awesome things we heard from the students that they loved most:
I liked all the activities like “Yes and…” and the breathing exercises
Showing our true selves
I enjoyed sharing in groups, although it was difficult to open up
It was really easy to follow. I can repeat the steps w/o instructions
Here is what the teachers had to say:
“The students were very engaged in your presentation. The way you spoke to them resonated. Many of these kids don’t feel like adults can relate or understand what they are going through and somehow with your intuitive wording and compassion, many felt like you and Robert really knew what it was like to be in their shoes. In times when there is so much division, your approach made them feel connected to the world they live in, and with their own thoughts. We were very impressed. Thanks so much!”
If you are a teacher and would like to have the Station come and do a FREE 60-90 minute talk for your students, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We focus on life skills related to purpose and career, health and wellness, time and money management, healthy relationships or finding balance and reducing stress.
The Station Squad
We are currently also creating a ‘Squad’ of teens ages 15-19 to help us share more about what the Station Co-Lab has to offer. These students would learn our curriculum for free as well as gain valuable life and professional skills for after high school.
The Squad is for you if:
- You are excited to learn about social media and education as a profession
- You want to learn more about healthy habits for success in life, college and the workplace for yourself
- You are interested in event production
- You would like to intern for high school credit
- You are looking for mentorship and guidance in your life after high school
- You want to develop leadership skills to help other students like you
If you know a teen who might be a good fit for our Squad, please have them sign up for one of our upcoming Informational Conference Calls:
Wednesday November 14 @ 4pm
Saturday November 17 @ 11am
Please RSVP for one of these two calls right now by completing this form HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/EUc6Kh8hP7mSr1i73
Parents are welcome to join as well. In fact, to participate in the Squad, you will need parents’ permission if they are under the age of 18.