Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Year, Fresh Start

The start of the new year brings a sense of renewal, and the chance to make some much-needed lifestyle changes. Over the next 12 months, I am committed to learning more Japanese which will make my experience in Tokyo a much richer (and easier) one. Though I've not set any specific language goals, I plan on securing a tutor in the coming month, opening my neglected Japanese phrase book and attempting to study at least once per week. Hopefully, I'll stick to my plan and begin 2017 with some conversational Japanese.

Just because our self-management as adults are more refined than say, an eight year-olds, this is no reason not to begin to teach these valuable "executive" skills to our students and children. Why not have them set their own goals and resolution for the coming month? Year? I'm proud to say that, as a Seisen teacher, this is nothing new to our students, as they are used to creating measurable academic and personal goals for themselves at school.  But what about at home? It doesn't even have to be a personal goal, but how about a family one? Some ideas include committing to unplugging more (e.g., no cell phones at the dinner table), exercising as a family at least once per week, eating better ("fridge" makeover maybe?) and having a weekly read-aloud, complete with reading chart/book diary. Check out this great New York Times blog/article on this very topic!

If you're looking for some good ideas for resolutions for your children, here are some examples below that I found from the American Academic of PediatricsIdeally, you can meet with your child intermittently to have him or her "gauge" his or her progress. It's actually a great way for them to begin self-monitoring their own behaviour and accepting feedback from adults. In the adult world, we get this all of the time through performance reviews, evaluations, etc. It's a great start!


  • I will clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.
  • I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.
  • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I will help clear the table when I am done eating.
  • I will be friendly to all animals. I will remember to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.
  • I will be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.
  • I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared. 

Kids, 5 to 1 2 years old

  • I will drink water every day, and drink soda and fruit drinks only at special times.
  • I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright, sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I'm playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week! 
  • I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car.
  • I'll be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by asking them to join activities such as sports or games.
  • I will always tell an adult about any bullying I may see or hear about to help keep school safe for everyone.
  • I will keep my personal information safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I'll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without asking my parent if it is okay.
  • I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.
  • I promise to follow our household rules for video games and internet use.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2016! 


~Ms. Carnright

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