February 13, 2019
Dear McAuley Scholar Parents,
Recently, I read Brene Brown’s latest book, Dare to Lead. If I’m honest, she’s one of my favorite humans that I’ve never met. I’ve read every book she’s published, and I usually walk away from her writing with eye-opening insights about what it means to be human. Whether she’s discussing vulnerability, whole-heartedness, shame, empathy, courage, or belonging, she speaks a language that is rooted in authenticity and research.
While Dare to Lead offers some compelling reading about what it takes to lead people, I have also found tangential lessons that have given me a lot to consider as I advise our McAuley Scholars. These lessons have been especially insightful when I have met with students as they choose classes for next year. One section that I came across in Brown’s book seems highly applicable to the students in our program even though her context involves how employers train their employees. Brown writes:
“Easy learning doesn’t build strong skills…The reality is that to be effective, learning needs to be effortful. That’s not to say that anything that makes learning easier is counterproductive—or that all unpleasant learning is effective. The key here is desirable difficulty. The same way you feel a muscle ‘burn’ when it’s being strengthened, the brain needs to feel some discomfort when it’s learning. Your mind might hurt for a while—but that’s a good thing.”
I love that phrase desirable difficulty. I think we all are familiar with it. It’s finding the sweet spot in learning. It’s when we take the next step that challenges us to grow but isn’t so over our heads that a wall of frustration keeps us from understanding. As I talk with our McAuley Scholars and guide them to make choices for next year, I hope you will consider asking some of the same questions I use with these young women as they make choices. Questions include:
-What content areas in school do you like to study?
-How has your course load been this year? What’s been hard? easy?
-How many AP and DC courses did you take this year?
-How many AP and DC courses are you hoping to take next year?
-In what activities are you involved outside of school hours?
-How will you push yourself/challenge yourself next year?
-What motivates you? Is that motivation extrinsic or intrinsic?
Using the concept of desirable difficulty can definitely help our students choose a course load that shows incremental rigor and growth. I also ask about their current teachers’ recommendations, required classes, creative interests and ways to support those, and choosing a class based on content, not what other students might register for that class or the teacher who may teach it.
This year, completed registration forms with a deposit are due Friday, February 22. If you or your daughter has more questions, feel free to contact me.
McAuley Scholars Director
502-458-9551 ext. 2563
Important Information for this Month
Registration Information: Our academic deans, Mrs. Judy Fieldhouse (last name A-K) and Mrs. Theresa Schuhmann (last name L-Z) have gone into class meetings to discuss registration with our freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Online registration will open in PowerSchool on February 14. All registration forms along with the $200 payment are due by Thursday and Friday, February 21-22. You’ll want to check the Rocket Report for detailed instructions about how to make payment this year; it has changed. Changes to the 2019-2020 course catalog should be available by Friday and accessible through our website. In the meantime, you can access last year’s catalog at this link.
Juniors – Mini-College Workshops During Study Blocks: Our college counselors, Mrs. Leigh Jackson and Mrs. Kim Habich, will host juniors for “mini-college workshops” starting February 20-21 during study halls. These workshops are designed to get juniors started with the college process. Students received an email with dates and room numbers for the workshops. They are extremely helpful and casual. The goal of these workshops is to help students get started on things that will need to be completed very early senior year. By the end of this school year, every junior who participates will have the opportunity to have a completed student profile, resume, list of colleges, and possibly, the start of application essays. Ask your daughter about this opportunity.
ACT Test Prep Opportunity: Is your daughter a sophomore or junior looking to take theACT on April 13? Bellarmine University is offering an ACT Prep Camp. Students will have the opportunity to gain some last-minute tips that will increase self-confidence and, consequently, help them do well on the exam. Learn test-taking strategies for each of the four sections (English, Math, Reading, Science). The curriculum is 100% test-based, meaning students will learn through the test to pick up on patterns and high-frequency questions. The camp will be held Monday – Friday, April 1-5 from noon – 3:00 pm. The cost of the camp is $199, and the prep a student completes here could also help get ready for the June ACT. Interested in registering your daughter? Call Bellarmine University’s Continuing Ed Department at 502.272.8161 or register online atwww.bellarmine.edu/CE/Register and register for course #CEYU 210.
NHS: If your daughter attended one of three offered NHS application meetings, meets the requirements for applying to this organization, and wants to apply, then she must turn in her date-stamped, hard copy application by 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, February 21,to our Guidance Office. Students already inducted and granted membership in NHS do NOT need to attend one of these meetings or re-apply to the organization.
AP Testing Sign-ups: Students will soon be signing up in their AP classes for May exams. Most exams are $94 with AP Seminar costing $142. These fees will be due in just a few weeks. Talk with your daughter for more details or click here.