The Bridge Program: Burlington High School
Creating positive habits and tracking them helps students foster accountability, intrinsic motivation, and internal reminders in hopes to move habits to involuntary behaviors. Students will be asked to reflect upon “habits” they would like to focus on with regards to personal, academic, or physical change. They will start small with 2-3 habits they would like to track for positive change.
The following examples and ideas that were developed during the Habit Tracking module are:
The idea that too much as well as too little stress and anxiety is undesirable and unhealthy.
You lose about ½ pound of muscle every year after the age of 25 if your not adequately using your muscle. Did you know that when you lift weights, microscopic tears actually occur in your muscles. Increased muscular strength doesn’t occur as you’re lifting weights; it occurs during your rest period, or your day off from lifting weights.
So stress can be compared to our muscles. In order to gain physical strength, it is necessary to stress the muscles. The microscopic tears are good because it is the building back up of the tears that result in increased physical strength ...so to it is with stress.
Experiencing or dealing with stresses can cause microscopic tears in our emotional health and stamina. But learning to recover and build ourselves back from stressful experiences result in increased emotional strength. BUT if the muscle is stressed too much or you lift weights too often, your muscles can be torn down too much and your body doesn’t have the chance to build back the muscle. In other words if you lift too much weight and don’t give your muscles a day off and give yourself recovery time, your muscles don’t have time to rebuild themselves before you tear them again.
Again, so to it is with stress. If you’re dealing with too much stress and you don’t have enough of a break between those stressers, you might not have a chance to recover or deal with the stress effectively. On the other hand, if you don’t sufficiently stress the muscles, or you don’t lift enough weight, you won’t develop your physical strength. If your weights are too light, it is too easy.
The challenges that we face serve as the weight we lift in order to strengthen our ability to handle stress or our emotional strain. If we’re never faced with emotional stress, we will never have the opportunities to strengthen our coping abilities and develop the capacity to effectively handle stress. So next time you are faced with a stressful situation - look at it as your opportunity to “Work out.”
Based on the Bell-Curve graph, the optimal amount of stress is correlated with an optimal amount of performance or emotional health. For example: Athletes perform best when they feel some degree of stressed or when they are psyched up to an extent prior to a competition. The same goes for non-athletes.
Have you ever felt less productive when you have too much time on your hands? Too much to do because you feel overwhelmed? So what is the optimal amount? We are all different in the way that we handle stress, so our optimal amounts differ.
Our students created their own bell-curve using pictures from magazines or google images to share the setting where they felt at each performance level. Below are some examples!
The month of October we are going to focus on Anxiety and Stress and how it impacts the brain. The goal is for students to grasp an understanding of the physiological and psychological affects of Anxiety and Stress to help motivate for learning of new coping skills.
Anxiety is defined as: A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
There are typically three types of responses to Anxiety. We have the fight response, flight response, and freeze response. Can you guess what each of these responses mean?
Our students in the Freeze response typically have intense worries about the future (e.g. college, professional prospects), difficulty tolerating feedback, few or no close peer relationships, Shutting down or "getting stuck" on test, and possible academic over achievement.
Our students in the Fight response tend to have many panic attacks, engage in self-injurious behaviors, suicidal thinking, substance use, instability and intensity in relationships, and disordered eating.
Our students in the Flight response may be late to school or have frequent absences, skip class, be involved in substance use, or avoid major projects such as college applications, essays, etc.
Does this remind you of anyone? Next week the students will focus on what is going on in our brain when we have an anxious or stress producing response.
Our students completed their vision boards this week and categorized each goal as having "no control," "some control," and "all control." Goals such as buying a vacation home, having children, and traveling fell under the category as having "some control" for most of our students. Character traits and growth mindset terms fell under the category as having "all control" for the majority as well. These vision boards focused on compartmentalizing what we can control in the future.
Needs: things you have to have in order to live/survive. (For example: air, food, water, shelter, clothes, safety, love) Wants: things that you would like to have to make your life easier -- things you can live without. (For example: CDs, new clothes, TV set)
Values : guidelines on how you live; your beliefs about right and wrong; (For example: freedom, honesty, trust, health, friendship, fun, money, power, love)
Goals: Where you want to go – something you want in the future that will make you happy.
This week in Bridge for our coping module, each student (and staff member) will begin brainstorming ideas for their "Goal Poster." We discussed with the students that goals are something you with to accomplish and setting goals gives you a direction. It is important to set goals in all areas of your life. Therefore, we focused on Health/Wellness, Career, Personal/Family, Financial/Material Items, and Bucket List Ideas.
1) Health & Wellness: Eating well, yoga, run
2) Career: To become and assistant principal
3) Personal/Family: Married, Children
4) Financial/Material Items: Buy a bigger home with a yard, vacation home/beach house
5) Life Bucket List: Travel more (Greece, Fiji, Australia, and many more!)
Next week, the students will use their brainstormed ideas and divide them up on a scale of "no control," "some control," and "all control" to represent how much ability they have to control each goal. They will research for pictures and images to represent the goals they chose.
We are looking forward to see what goals the students have for their future!
Burlington High School is hosting its annual Back-to-School Night TONIGHT from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Parents of freshman or any new students are invited to arrive at 6:00 p.m. for a brief presentation and the opportunity for a question and answer session with administrators.
Parents will have the opportunity to meet teachers and familiarize themselves with their child’s schedule while following an abbreviated school day. Teachers will provide parents with a course overview and outline their expectations. National Honor Society students will serve as guides, and guidance counselors and administrators will be available throughout the evening for support.
This year, class times will be ten minutes long as shown below, and as a reminder please bring your son/daughter's schedule with you:
New Parent Session 6:00 – 6:30 (Auditorium)
Period 1 6:35 – 6:45
Period 2 6:50 – 7:00
Period 3 7:05 – 7:15
Period 4 7:20 – 7:30
Period 5 7:35 – 7:45
Period 6 7:50 – 8:00
Period 7 8:05 – 8:15
Our Bridge staff will be available in the Bridge room.
We hope to see you soon!
Our Module theme this month is "Getting to Know You" and Goal Setting. This week, our students are focusing primarily on getting to know the teachers and one another in the Bridge Program. Some students may be new to us (or even high school) this year, while some are returning to Bridge.
To help get to know the students, they each participated in the "T-Shirt Activity" module. Students filled in a drawing of a T-Shirt template that represented their interests and goals. Our students were very creative and we are excited to learn more about them as the year goes on!
To develop requisite life skills, such as teamwork and problem-solving, the students also participate in weekly modules. Our final module beginning last week 5/9 for the school year centers around community service and giving back to the community. Students wrote proposals and voted on which project they wanted to support.
The top three choices were:
Ultimately, students decided to make fleece blankets for Project Linus, an organization that provides love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” Students chose the organization as it shares many of the same caring philosophies as the Bridge Program. We will start these projects in June as we spend the next week gathering materials and supplies. Pictures to follow...
This week on 5/9/17 the students in Bridge are going to focus on Sense of Purpose. What is a Sense of Purpose? And how can we bring a Sense of Purpose to our lives?
First, the students defined Sense of Purpose.
Sense of Purpose: A stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at the same time meaningful to the self and consequential for the world beyond the self.
Then, we discussed six guidelines on how to build Sense of Purpose to our lives:
As the summer is approaching us, two big events are on the minds of high school seniors. The events are Senior Prom and Graduation. After a challenging and stressful four year career at BHS, seniors are at the point where they can relax. With privileges such as prom, students are expected to make smart decisions. Please advise that if attending parties or events where alcohol may be served, plan ahead and work out a plan to get there and back safely.