AAS Blog

Staying Active During Distance Learning

Entering another period of online learning brings back the challenges that go hand in hand with it - more screen time, more time spent sitting, less physical activity, less time spent outdoors, more stress and less opportunities for fun and leisure activities. So what better time than now to remind ourselves of some of the benefits of physical activity.

Physical activity is not only essential for healthy growth and development, but also important to learning. Research shows that physical activity of any kind - team sport, biking, hiking, swimming or playground games - has positive effects on the brain and on school performance

  • Guest blogger
  • SY2122
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Overcoming Anxieties

“Are you nervous about having the baby, Ms. Lindsey?” This was one of the first questions I was asked this week by one of our fourth graders while I visited classrooms to introduce Mr. Kevin, who will be filling in for me while I am on maternity leave. I found myself pausing for a moment and then emphatically agreeing. Even though I have been a school counselor for thirteen years and know a lot about parenting strategies and child development from a professional angle, my husband and I have never been parents ourselves and will be in a few short weeks. I feel the anxiety in me along with all of my other feelings about impending parenthood. 
Anxiety is a common struggle we face for many different reasons. Things that may seem easy to one person may cause huge anxiety in someone else.

  • ES counselor
  • On Wellbeing
  • SY2122
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Learning in Uncertain Times: How Worried Should We Be?

We, as a generation, have struggled through the most difficult times in education. As a parent and an educator, I have painfully watched my son, Kenshin, struggle through remote learning, social distancing, loss of school activities, and a host of other irregularities. I often find myself wondering how the pandemic will affect my son. Will my son’s math, for example, be on par?

I’m not alone in worrying. The Pew Research Centre, for example, identified that 65% of the parents they surveyed were concerned about their children falling behind. Other polls report even higher levels of concern, citing 9 out of 10 parents worried about their children’s academics. While some caveats come with this data (it was based on US public schools) it’s fairly safe to say this is a global concern. Like other parents, my worry has also led me to attempt to “fill the gap” with extra studying and more work outside of school hours.

  • On Learning
  • SY2122
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When Life Gives Us Lemons, We Make Lemonade

Yesterday we had the first PTO Book Club meeting of the school year, a very special one. In June the book was chosen, orders were taken, everything was under control as it should be. Back to school in August, orders were placed with our local vendor only to learn that the title was unavailable. Second choice also unavailable. Third choice, same. Last resort had to be Amazon and several orders were placed only to be cancelled afterwards followed by all kinds of excuses. Time was passing by and still no book for our September encounter. Andrea, our PageTurners Coordinator, then goes to the library and checks out the first book with as many copies available as we needed: Life of Pi, a beautifully written tale of hope and the innate human ability to overcome adversities. And it couldn’t have been better and more appropriate. The discussion was meaningful, deep and full of different colours, coming together from such a diverse group of people. With our tummies full and souls replenished, we left our encounter longing for more.

  • Guest blogger
  • PTO president
  • SY2122
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Education of the Heart

Starting in 1st grade and until I finished my studies at the Russian Embassy School in 2017, one of my favorite activities around the Christmas holidays was the Christmas Charity Bazaar we organized at school. During that one Friday during the year, all of the students would bring baked goods and interesting things for their grades to sell, the parents would organize challenges and games, and the teachers would teach us - the young salesmen - how to work with money and customers. The Charity Bazaar was the administration’s way to not only unite the school community and bring joy to the student body, but to also allow some of the sick children in Sofia to experience the magic of Christmas. Just in one day, we would raise money to support the children at the emergency department at Pirogov and would turn toys into the joyful laughter and smiles of the patients.  

  • Guest blogger
  • SY2122
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