December 7, 2023 

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all doing well. I want to start by putting in another plug for our annual Coat Drive and our Toys for Tots drive. Both are currently accepting donations through next Friday (12/15). If you have a used, warm coat that you’re looking to get rid of, we’ll take it! And the same applies for unused, unwrapped toys. Feel free to drop off any items, or send them with your children over the next week. We have drop-off locations in the main lobby.

This week in Advisory, we talked a bit about empathy. We defined empathy as the understanding of or the ability to identify with another person’s feelings or experiences. Each month, we have a lesson or two that shift the focus of the group to a learning or discussion topic. We find that some middle schoolers are the walking definitions of empathy - kind, considerate, thoughtful, and interested in others around them. Others could benefit from lessons on why empathy matters, especially as a member of a community.

After reviewing the definition, together we completed an empathy “quiz” where students self identified where they strongly agree, agree, disagree, etc. with a series of statements. Statements like “I easily feel sad when the people around me feel sad” or “When I’m upset at someone, I usually try to put myself in their shoes for a while” led to a good conversation in my group. We wrestled with the idea that it’s not always easy to think like someone else, especially when you’re upset with that person. I shared that I can strongly agree with many of these statements in my “work life” but may have a different response if I considered my personal life. All of this is to say that we continue to use our Advisory program to have fun and create strong relationships, and to also connect some social-emotional skills in small and concrete ways. If the topic of empathy comes up at home, you can expect that your 7th or 8th grader might have something to share!

With the upcoming vacation and holiday season, I know some of you have considered or have even already made plans for giving gifts to teachers. My own wife has done all the planning for small tokens of appreciation for my kids’s teachers, dance teachers, bus drivers, etc. However, I want to be clear that no RJ Grey teacher expects gifts and no family should ever feel obligated to provide one! I would recommend, if you have a few moments, that a kind email or word of thanks to a teacher goes quite a long way, whether around the holidays or at any time of the year! If you are committed to giving a gift, please know that there are state ethics laws that limit gifts that teachers, coaches, and staff are permitted to receive. School staff cannot accept gifts from a single family that amount to $50 or more in value for the entire school year. 

Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, Dec 8: Report cards emailed home

  • Friday, Dec 15: Formal Dress Day at RJ Grey

  • Friday, Dec 22: Early Release at 11:10 am 

  • Tuesday, Jan 2: School Reopens for 2024

Take care and have a great weekend!

Posted by jmarcotte On 07 December, 2023 at 10:37 AM  

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.