"Academic tools plus effort (on the part of the student) equals confidence which leads to success."
Our students are uniquely and purposefully designed by God, with unique gifts and talents. Part of our mission as a school is to help students learn how to use those talents for His service throughout their entire lives. To help accomplish this mission better, our upper school added a supportive resource for students this year: the Study Skills Academy. Inspired by concepts from the book Learn Like a Pirate, the program was created to meet the specific needs of our students. According to Dr. Campbell, "The main idea is to help students develop a mindset and set of aptitudes to be lifelong learners. This contrasts with becoming a learner who is focused on just passing a test or getting a good grade in a specific class." Led by Dr. Campbell and Mrs. Jennings, the Study Skills Academy exists to help students become life-long learners by teaching and strengthening skills that students will use both inside and outside the classroom.
Beginning with the skill of organization taught by Mrs. Jennings, our middle school Bible teacher, several upper school teachers have contributed to the Academy. Students have already attended instruction on communication, time management, and learning styles. Since meeting in September, our upper school teachers have already noticed an improvement in test scores. Mr. Merritt, a middle school history teacher, observed students actively applying the techniques they learned in the Study Skills Academy to improve their test scores in his class. Some students’ grades jumped from an F to an A!
On Friday, Mrs. Spicer, our middle school literature teacher, taught students about managing stress, a skill that will help students in every area of their lives. Students heard how eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying organized can help reduce their stress. She also taught them a breathing exercise to use in stressful situations. They also learned that stress is a natural response to new and tricky situations, but practicing calm breathing, acknowledging a stress response is normal, and facing the situation bravely will reduce the volume of the stress response.
Mrs. Spicer reminded students of Wednesday's Chapel message from the book of James: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:3-4). We know that we cannot avoid stress, trials, and struggles; thankfully, God uses those situations to draw us closer to Him. He will give us wisdom and endurance when we bring our stressful situations to him.
The Study Skills Academy is open to all upper school students and is an available resource to build habits that will benefit them in all areas of their lives. We are excited to see how God will continue to use this time to build up our students!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)