Academics in Action: Recap and Reflections

By Eileen Flaherty, Student Life Division Head

As you all know, Academics in Action was this week, and there were some exciting things going on. Whether it was the China trip, fencing, the NYC theater trip, or a cooking class in the lunchroom, a lot happened this week, and I want to reflect on some of the things I noticed.

Coming back from a two-week break is hard, but knowing that we have a week of fun classes makes it so much easier. A lot of thought, effort, appreciation, and hard work went into this week, so I want to thank everybody who made the week possible. AIA allows students to grow and develop in ways that we cannot during a typical school day. Specifically, I was in the Toying with Teaching class in the morning, and it was a fantastic experience for me. This class grants you the opportunity to shadow a teacher and help them throughout the week at an elementary school. I worked in the first grade where I was able to help kids with their drawings, read to them, and help the teacher out by organizing and cleaning some class supplies. The course allowed me to observe children’s behaviors and the teacher’s skills and work. All of the children were obedient, funny, and sweet. They listened to the teacher and were not disrespectful in any way. I learned at the end of the week that, in having a strong, kind, welcoming mentor (the teacher), students would exemplify the same attributes.

In the afternoon, I was able to relax and meditate in “Mindfulness and Mediation”. This class taught me a lot about the importance of meditation and reflection. We did basic yoga everyday, then would participate in guided meditations that allowed us to focus on our breathing or go to a peaceful place in our minds. Our homework for the class was to write down the things we were grateful for. Even a basic exercise like writing down what you are thankful for can make a big impact.

AIA was terrific this year and allowed many people to explore different things they may have never thought of before. Toying with Teaching helped students, myself included, to observe classroom behavior and understand the life of a teacher. The cooking classes expanded the students’ understanding of cooking and baking and allowed them to have fun all at the same time. A huge thanks to Mrs. Bulger for working countless hours to organize this week and make it fantastic!

What was your favorite part of AIA? Did you have a particular class or teacher that made the week better? Email me or comment on this post with any questions or suggestions you may have.