Positive Change

6 Ways to Handle School-Related Stress

FLVS_Blog_SchoolStressStressed out about upcoming exams? Thinking ahead to AP or EOC (End-of-Course) exams? Graduating this year and still finishing scholarship essays or college applications?

Don’t stress! These tips from two 11th grade students at FLVS can help. Here’s what Tamar and Jade have to say to help you stay on track:

As students adjust to spring school schedules, the second semester often brings a higher level of stress. It can be very difficult to get used to having new subjects, new teachers, and going back to a structured routine.

Unfortunately, many students buckle under the pressure. If you are one of those students, don’t let stress become overwhelming!

Here are six quick ways to handle school-related stress. Continue reading


Holiday Truths

This is the sixth post in a series by former FLVS student Makaila, a model, author, and anti-bullying advocate.

Winter Break ReflectionsThe holiday season is upon us, which means two things. One, the holidays are almost here, but more importantly, winter break is closer than you think.

Let this winter break be one that will go down in history as one of your most productive times of the year. After your finals or year-end assignments, sit back and relax and hangout with those who mean something special to you.

The past year may have been rough, and at times like this, it is perfect to reflect on those who have stuck by your side through thick and thin. And for those who haven’t, maybe this is the perfect time to let go so you can start fresh in the new year. Weed out the negative people in your life, and appreciate the right ones.

Take time this holiday season to learn and reflect on the things you wish you could have changed, like relationships and other endeavors…or even if you procrastinated a little too much. But wait – if you are focused on becoming better next year (which is so close), you may wonder “What did I do wrong?” Well, we all do things wrong. No one is perfect and now is a great time to realize that. Continue reading


Help! I need somebody! Help!

Learning to Ask for HelpMy daughter is not quite two, yet her little brain is abuzz – learning new things at every turn of the corner.

Almost constantly she comes up against something new, something strange or challenging, and every time without fail, she looks up at me with her big brown eyes and says “help!”

It astonishes me how easily she is able to admit she needs a helping hand. How quickly she recognizes she’s facing something new and challenging and she may not get it right the first time.  This mindset is what Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset.” And most children my daughter’s age have it.

They are perfectly okay with asking for help, and not just asking, but receiving it.  Continue reading


Give Thanks for Teachers

teacher thanksgiving coverSchool is out this week in celebration of Thanksgiving, which seems appropriate, because this year I am most thankful for teachers. If there is a teacher at your pilgrim celebration, please let them have the biggest drumstick, the last piece of pumpkin pie, or the preferred napping spot in front of the football game. This year, more than ever, they have earned it.

Education is in a cycle of dramatic change (thankfully) but in lieu of a better system, traditional schools are placing more burdens on classroom teachers. Administrators add accountability metrics, but take away autonomy. Districts add high stakes testing, but take away class time for teaching. States add new standards, demand new teaching methods, and require new paperwork, while reducing budgets, salaries, and benefits. Not exactly what most teachers signed up for.  Continue reading


Random Acts of Kindness

kindness3Recently, a mother took her two young boys to the grocery store. As she shopped, she helped them to put back their “fun finds” and stick to their list. She explained that since daddy had passed, they could not afford all of the things they used to and that they needed to stick to their budget. She told them they could now only purchase the necessities. What mom didn’t realize was that someone had overheard their conversation. This person picked up every item she put back on the shelves. As the family finished shopping, this woman followed them to the line, but managed to get ahead of them. She purchased all of the “fun finds” and left money with the clerk for mom’s shopping. When mom checked out, she was notified that her groceries had all been paid for, a cart of goodies was left for them, and they even had money left over. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to chase down the mystery woman to thank her. She never caught her, but contacted the local news to share her story. She hoped the mystery woman would hear and know how grateful she was for her gift of kindness. Continue reading