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Sunday, March 3, 2013

GCS Counselors Meeting notes

I found the GCS Counselor's meeting to be very interesting and thought provoking! Here are some of the main points:

  • Emotional Connections through video: The number one thing that motivates a person is having an emotional connection. By watching a video as an introduction, the students are emotionally activated and can easily relate to the video without talking about themselves. Video is the best emotional media that can be used in school. Here are some links to a few of my favorite video resources:
  • Similarities, not differences: Another thought-provoking concept mentioned at this meeting is that we should not show kids how they are different from one another, we need to show them how they are the same. It is natural for kids to pick up on the differences, but when they are unable to see how they are similar to others is when kids develop empathy for others. In a world where it is becoming "cool to be cruel", having a firm foundation on empathy can be a deciding factor between kids bullying others or being kind. 

  • Extrinsic Motivation: The speaker also talked about how children today are primarily extrinsically motivated and that paradigm shift is leading to a huge increase in mental health issues in early adulthood (top 3: anxiety, depression, and narcissism). To illustrate the problem with being only extrinsically motivated, the speaker used a metaphor of leading a chicken with breadcrumbs to a certain destination. When the chicken reaches that destination, the bread crumbs stop and the chicken is left not knowing what to do or where they are at. The chicken is the child, the bread crumbs are the adults giving extrinsic rewards for doing the small things. Once the kids reach the destination (college), the breadcrumbs stop coming and they do not know what to do. This causes a lot of anxiety and depression. 

  • "Comparison is the thief of joy"- Theodore Roosevelt- One study compared the happiness of two families- one with an income of 200k, the other with 60k. The study found that in general, there was not a difference in the happiness, UNLESS they were living next to each other. Your belongings and possessions alone do not determine how happy you are, but when you start comparing what you have to what someone else has, you become unhappy. 

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