How to Help Teens Work Through Daily Stressors

Is it stress or anxiety?

Have you ever felt paralyzed staring at the big letter “F” on a paper or been told that you’ve got to turn your grades around quick or you won’t get into college? Teens face pressures today that may seem easily solved to adults, but can actually make or break the teen’s mental health. So what is the difference between normal every day stressors and anxiety?

According to the Mental Health Curriculum Organization, “The hallmarks of an anxiety disorder are persistent avoidance and withdrawal where it causes major impairment in your life. That’s more than just a stress response.”

 

How can parents help?

How can we expect our children to create healthy habits if we are not modeling it for them? By modeling stress-management we are able to show children what it looks like to assimilate through tough circumstances. Even though our instinct is to protect our children from “negativity,” sheltering them from it can promote the exact opposite. They could be left lacking in their ability to navigate the inevitable highs and lows that will come up in throughout life.

As parents and caregivers, we have an important part to play, by adopting our own healthy habits and helping children and teens find stress-managing strategies. These strategies can even be discussed in a group so that the teen can brainstorm their own ideas and implement them into the family’s stress management model.

  • Model healthy coping. Caregivers can talk authentically with children about how they’ve thought about and dealt with their own stressful situations.

 

  • Let kids be problem-solvers. It’s natural to want to fix your child’s problems. But when parents swoop in to solve every little glitch, their children don’t have a chance to learn healthy coping skills. Let your children try to solve their low-stakes problems on their own, and they’ll gain confidence that they can deal with stressors and setbacks.

 

  • Promote media literacy. Today’s kids spend a lot of time online, where they can run into questionable content, cyber bullying or the peer pressures of social media. Parents can help by teaching their children to be savvy digital consumers, and by limiting screen time.

 

  • Combat negative thinking“I’m terrible at math.” “I hate my hair.” “I’ll never make the team. Why try out?” Children and teens can easily fall into the trap of negative thinking. When children use negative self-talk, though, don’t just disagree. Ask them to really think about whether what they say is true, or remind them of times they worked hard and improved. Learning to frame things positively will help them develop resilience to stress.

To read the NY Times Article about how to protect teens emotional well-being, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Adjusting to Covid Protocols in School

The two month mark of being back at school is rapidly approaching. For some of our students this will be their inauguration for being back in a large-group setting for this first time in a year! You may be wondering how the students are handling all of this?

Our directors of the Lower, Middle, and Upper school as well as the boarding student supervisor reflect on how the kids are doing at this point in the year.

Kaye Jacob, Middle/Upper School Director

“This year we plan to launch a Middle School Student Council—and also hold regular MiddleKaye Jacob, Academic Director, Maharishi School
School assemblies. Our goal is to create as much opportunity for leadership experience, active
learning—and fun—as possible. We are also looking forward to being able to take students on
field trips—to outdoor locations such as Wilson’s Orchard as well as to museums and
performance venues, depending (of course) on our capacity to maintain Covid-safe protocols.

I think students are overall less anxious this year about the Covid protocols because they are accustomed to them and, more importantly, I believe that they are convinced that wearing masks and getting vaccinated (as the older ones have) actually have worked to keep our covid mask middle schoolcommunity safe and almost entirely Covid-free all last year. When students see the logic and meaning behind what they are doing, they tend to fall naturally into the routine of it. Not ONE student that I have seen so far has even hesitated to wear a mask–and wear it properly–so far this year.”

 

Lynn Shirai, Lower School Director

Lynn Shirai Lower School Director Maharishi School“The children are accommodating easily to our Covid protocols, and mask wearing seems second nature to them now. There’s a lot of handcovid mask lower school washing and social distancing going on also. Thank you for reminding your children of the importance of following all of our safety guidelines during this time. Everyone seems contented and so full of happiness being with their friends once again.”

David Pohlman, Boarding Student Supervisor

“Like previous years, the boarding students have shown great flexibility with adapting to the pandemic safety protocols. We saw this during the initial days of this school year when students had to follow an “isolation” procedure upon moving into the dorm. Students had to eatdavid pohlman boarding in their rooms and wear masks at all times when outside of their dorm room.
Interactions with others inside the dorm were limited, but encouraged outside. Each of these students needed to complete a final Covid test before joining everyone for regular activities, including in-person school.
We actually have fewer protocols in the dorm than when the pandemic started– mainly because we all have a better understanding of how the virus is transmitted than before.
For example, we no longer emphasize sanitizing surfaces as a strategy for prevention. Also, last year, we were able to have all but one dorm student fully vaccinated at the request of their parents. This year, we currently have a mix of vaccinated and un-vaccinated. We will need to consider what this means for the mask covid kidsliving environment and mask usage there.
Overall, the boarding students go with the flow and show respect toward each other and the safety guidelines we have established for the well being of everyone.”
To read our blog about “What the pandemic has taught us,” click here.

Want to read more about our Return-to-Learn plan, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

What the Pandemic Taught Us

Learning from a crises

With the Fall school year rapidly approaching, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past and what we’ve learned. One of the biggest lessons of the last year for parents and school administrators alike is how hard teaching is during a pandemic! Not only did teachers have to be creative and engaging in the classroom but the last year required them to become experts in newmiddle school pandemic mask technologies as well. The next hurdle for teachers to overcome was creating the strategies for getting students to participate in coursework from the comfort of their homes as well as in person. The challenges were endless but so we’re the rewards. Some of which might actually surprise you!

Online learning pros and cons from our teachers

I spoke with Maharishi School’s Third and Fourth-grade teacher Diane James about her experience, “I realized how deep my devotion and commitment was to have my students thrive academically and emotionally through this pandemic.  I moved into action and by the end of the year they truly ‘graduated” from their grade. I introduced Padlet, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, and Jamboard and surrendered to the technical genius of nearly the whole class to master each online program.  These programs connect the hybrid learning situation we were in. We danced and exercised every day.  We went outside whenever we could.”

The struggles that children experience in the classroom often indicate that a student may be having difficulties at home. In the case of the pandemic many members of our school community, students, and adults have experienced hardships.

Diane goes into further detail about this in her classroom, “I allowed myself to be vulnerable.  I cried in front of them (her students). I had to share the times I felt extremely sad and impatient.  I felt them as well. And yet, there was a class consciousness that said,” WE GOT THIS.”

David Pohlman is the Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills (CCLS) teacher as well as the Residential Life supervisor for the boarding students at Maharishi School. Here is his reflection on what the pandemic has taught him.

“I’m impressed by the adaptable and responsible planning of our school leaders and my teaching colleagues who made a year of hybrid learning safe and successful. The students showed the same level of adaptability and responsibility and it created a sense of normalcy to the school year and whether in-person or online, the students progressed academically with hardly a blip.”

“When I see, too, the divergent responses to the pandemic on a national level, it has made me even more aware of the need to teach critical thinking skills to help students navigate the field of information and misinformation.”

I also talked to Kaye Jacob who is the Academic Director of the Middle/Upper School as well as an ELA and English Literature teacher. She goes into greater detail about the learning curve of last year, “It is by sheer determination, dedication, and professionalism that the Maharishi School teachers

kaye jacob administrator of maharishi school

and staff were able to offer a hybrid model of education for students, essentially letting them choose the mode of delivery that made them feel the safest, even if it meant (as it regularly did) teachers on Zoom calls at 10:00 pm at night with students in Korea, or accommodating just one or two students on Zoom in the classroom while attempting to create interactive, hands-on activities for those attending in person.”

“It was a challenging year, to say the least, and I honestly hope that parents and students appreciate the level at which we were able to ensure that students were, for the most part, meeting or exceeding the curriculum standards in all subject areas, across all grade levels–and even participating in activities, when it was safe.  It is a tribute of course to the resilience of our students themselves and their tremendous level of cooperation and even compliance with the safety standards we implemented, however restrictive they would have felt.”

The curve of online learning

mask pandemicA situation in which a student may be struggling can pivot quickly from containable to critical, especially if the student is already in a vulnerable group. What’s different about the last year for us is that our “vulnerable group” included every student, teacher, parent, and member of our community.

One of the biggest lessons of this past year is to be ready for the unexpected. This is why Maharishi School has put practices in place that ensure the safety of everyone.

We believe that in-person learning is the most effective and that the remote approach to learning is not ideal.  However, our desire is to support each family in the way they believe best supports their children which is why we are offering both learning approaches.

While some of our students have taken to screen school with aplomb and even a greater degree of confidence, others have reported that it is stressful and tiring to be on computers all day long—and that meeting their friends only virtually makes them feel their isolation more acutely.

Emphasize engagement

As an institution, we are committed to supporting our families and students.  Please communicate if your student needs time with our mental health counselor or if you need an alternative tuition payment plan.

“Learning is, or at least should be, a social activity, as students exchange ideas and contribute to activities, building on the divergent skills and aptitudes in the group. It is much more challenging to attempt to simulate that exchange through online learning, although I am amazed at how resourceful our teachers were this year at getting students to be active learners even online, through clever apps and features available to them.” -Kaye Jacob, Academic Director

 

Want to read more about our Return-to-Learn plan, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

How to Prepare for School: Fall 2021 Edition

What should you expect?  And who decides?

The Maharishi School Leadership Team make the hard decisions that keep our school in a constant state of improvement. They provide a vision for our future and take the action necessary toRichard Beall execute that vision. When it comes to issues such as the covid pandemic, our Leadership Team gets its cues from a lot of different authorities:

  •        Iowa Governor Reynolds
  •        Iowa legislature
  •       Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  •       Public Health officials
  •       Maharishi International University
  •       Our Board of Directors

Sometimes that input is informational; other times the decisions are made for us, like when the Governor closed in-person schooling in March 2020 or disallowed mask mandates in May 2021.

 

leadership team covid masksWhere do we get information from?

Our Leadership Team is monitoring CDC sources daily for COVID-related developments as we consider our options for 2021-22. We strongly recommend reading the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools as a guideline.

In this guide you will find that the CDC recommends:

  • In-person learning
  • Vaccination
  • Masks for vaccinated persons

PLEASE NOTE: We have not adopted these recommendations at this point. Everything is still under consideration.

 

What can we prepare for?

At present we can foresee three different types of scenarios for the fall:

 

Scenario One: COVID cases decline, vaccination rates climb, masks become unnecessary. We’re pretty much back to “normal.”covid masks kids in mask

 

Scenario Two: COVID variants prove threatening, some precautionary measures continue, like mask wearing and social distancing.

 

Scenario Three: An upsurge of COVID cases, perhaps due to a variant, requires stronger preventive precautions, ranging from online-only classes to mask wearing mandates.

 

In other words, stay tuned. A survey will be sent to you in early August to solicit your perspective on the situation.

In the meantime, we are open to your input and will respond to questions, to the best of our ability.

 

 

To read about our Coronavirus guidelines, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Consciousness, Connections & Life Skills (CCLS)

What is CCLS?

This subject, originally called SCI or the Science of Creative Intelligence, has been part of the school since its inception and has gone through many changes over time. Eight years ago, there was a major overhaul of the curriculum based on alumni response. In 2018, the curriculum underwent a further change with the addition of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) and Comprehensive Health lessons to the curriculum. The name of the subject changed from SCI to CCLS (Consciousness, Connections, and Life Skills) to reflect this change. To expand on the name: Consciousness (the understanding and experience of consciousness through Transcendental Meditation), Connections (between different areas of life; interdisciplinary), and Life Skills (practical skills useful to everyday life, including SEL and sexual health).

The mission statement of the school is: To create an innovative, consciousness-based educational environment, where students think deeply and become creative,project period maharishi school compassionate, contributing citizens of the world.

There are four components of CCLS that directly teach to this mission statement: SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence), SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), the Comprehensive Health Curriculum (called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility), and Positive Discipline. We also have incorporated Restorative Justice talking circles.

What is SCI?

SCI (Science of Creative Intelligence) is the study of creativity and intelligence and principles found in everyday life that allow us to make connections between different fields of study and human experience. SCI deals primarily with the experience and understanding of consciousness.

  • The experiential part of this subject is that all the students practice Transcendental Meditation as part of curriculum every day in the morning and afternoon. (Students begin practicing TM starting in 4th grade. From ages 4 to 10, the students practice a simpler technique that is preparation for sit down meditation. Included in this program is a series of yoga asanas (postures) and a simple breathing exercise which serves to prime the nervous system for meditation, pranayama.
  • The theoretical or intellectual component involves an examination of the nature of consciousness, the relationship of consciousness to the physical world and the laws of nature. This exploration of consciousness is age-appropriate and occurs at all grade levels throughout the school, beginning in Preschool with more concrete activities and becoming more complex and theoretical in upper school.

What is SEL?

SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) in our Upper School consists of five main competencies as formulated by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). SEL is implemented differently at various grade levels, including the Preschool, Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.

  • Self-Awareness: the ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
  • Self-Management: the ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.
  • Social Awareness: the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Relationship Skills: the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Responsible Decision-Making: the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Comprehensive Health Curriculum

We use the K-12 curriculum from Advocates for Youth called Rights, Respect, and Responsibility. This curriculum includes age-appropriate lessons that cover a wide range of health areas, including relationships and consent, STDs and contraception, dating abuse, etc. In Preschool, the students are taught early consent, boundaries, and becoming comfortable with using anatomically correct words to describe their bodies. In upper school, we do a couple lessons a month and design our own slide presentations to supplement the materials.

Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. It teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for children and adults. In the summer of 2018, the school adopted Positive Discipline as part of our professional development program and invited a specialist to provide in-depth training. Our overall goal for positive discipline is to culture mutual respect between peers and adults, and to make sure all children are heard, respected, and intrinsically motivated.

  • In Preschool, the focus is on conflict resolution, but also includes understanding feelings, recognizing their own voice, making sure every child is heard, and maintaining boundaries, with class meetings or circles to facilitate communication.
  • In Lower School, the emphasis is on classroom management and conflict resolution.
  • In Middle School, communication skills and conflict resolution are the main focus.
  • In Upper School, many aspects of Positive Discipline (such as effective communication and problem-solving skills) are covered in the SEL curriculum and practiced in the classroom. Upper school also utilizes Restorative Justice talking circles and practices, which are much in line with Positive Discipline.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Meet Our New Teachers: Amie Saine

Meet Alumni Amie Saine!

new teacher alumni amie saine

Amie leading a  yoga to class.

Amie was born in Gambia and moved to the United States when she was 14 years old to attend Maharishi School. After Amie graduated, becoming an alumni in 2015, she enrolled at Maharishi International Univeristy. There she completed her schooling in 2019 with a degree in business. Amie says,  “After graduating, I had a modeling contract with BMG model and talent agency in New York City. I moved to NYC for almost a year, but then I ended up getting very sick in January 2020. I decided to move back to Fairfield in February in order to focus on my health and live with my parents. Here, I am now teaching kids and having a lot of fun.”

Amie was also a teachers assistant for the fitness and health class at MIU where shea learned how important it is to have fun while doing physical activity. She explains “having fun motivates students that don’t feel comfortable to feel comfortable. In my P.E class I try to make sure my students are happy and excited while doing an activity because having total wellness is the main purpose of my classes.”

alumni teaching yoga

Teaching our students to do tree pose. 

Teaching with covid

While teaching during covid can be difficult, I imagine teaching a physical education class would pose many obstacles to overcome. Amie says, “To be honest, it is very challenging sometimes because most students forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Sometimes, when they are having a lot of fun, the students just want to touch and connect with their friends, but we can’t do that in these difficult times. We play sports that involve touching, so sometimes we have to get really creative with activities just to make it more 2020 friendly without physical contact.” Teaching the kids at Maharishi School brings Amie so much joy and we are so lucky to have an alumni like her to focus on the health and well being of our students!

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Have You Heard Of Green Organic?

The boarding meals at our school will make you drool

maharishi school alumni brea hallen

Whitney Kemac and Brea Hallen

Maharishi School boarding students have been eating in style with seasonal, vegetarian, meals delivered to them by Green Organic. Green Organic is a local and sustainable catering service created out of Fairfield, Iowa. They provide regularly scheduled meals with the convenience of delivery right to your door!

Green Organic has a passionate commitment to sourcing fresh, organic and local ingredients.  Green Organic is dedicated to seasonal cuisine and sustainable lifestyle. They’re doing their part to improve the environment by utilizing reusable glass containers, wooden boards for catering and reusable bags.

The founder, Whitney Kemac and sous chef, Brea Hallen (who is also a Maharishi School alumni) have answered some questions about catering to our boarding students. You can find more pictures of their delicious food on their Instagram @greenorganicfairfield.

How did you come up with the idea for Green Organic?

boarding meals

Green Organic started when all the restaurants in Fairfield shut down during COVID 19. A family friend posted an ad in the Next Door App looking for homemade meals. Having just moved to Fairfield in December and looking for work, this was something I was excited about and could do while taking care of two young children.

I was able to cook and deliver homemade meals with my kids and maintain minimal contact with my client.  I created a versatile menu of organic ingredients, based on the client’s taste and using whatever I could find from the empty grocery aisles. I created signature sauces, dishes and recipes that would be delicious and healthy-using local ingredients I was able to source during a time when sourcing food was a little scary.

I asked if the client wanted it in some sort of Tupperware and he said “Oh, no no don’t put it in plastic”, so I delivered in a reusable glass container the client could just clean and set out at the next delivery time.  Very quickly my experience with hospitality and culinary arts, love and passion for food came through in the dishes- and word of mouth set off a chain reaction.  I now deliver for 30 special clients, honoring their dietary restrictions the best I can. I am so grateful to have found an amazing team who have come together and believe in the future of Green Organic.

What sort of meals do you have planned for the boarding students?

green organic meals

Our Catering Manager & Sous Chef Brea Hallen and I meet together, test and brainstorm new dishes and flavors we think all would enjoy. The students receive meals from our Fall Menu which you can also check out on our website www.GreenOrganicFairfield.com as well as additional meals we come up with that we think they would enjoy.  They also receive an organic dessert on Thursdays which is fun!

Where do your ingredients come from for those meals?

We source produce from Bob’s Barn (who sources special organic bulk produce for us), Stout’s Market, Fairfield Farmers Market, RPA Garlic Farm, Jorge’s Organics, Tim’s Garden at 8th & Grimes, our Greenhouse at the Depot, our family and friend’s gardens/backyards, Hyvee & Everybody’s Whole Foods.  Foraging is a constant process, but our mission is to support local farmers and work with seasonal, fresh ingredients.

We have a very culturally diverse group of students in the boarding program, do you plan on green organicexperimenting with meals from all over the world to accommodate this?

Definitely, creating a multicultural culinary experience is REALLY important to me.  Since moving from New York City where you can really get that experience right at your fingertips, it was something I missed a lot from my hometown.

The concept for the food is Farm-to-Table World Cuisine, at Green Organic we call it “Farm-to-Door” since most of our meals for Meal Delivery and Catering are delivered. I believe food brings people together and a significant way to connect and learn about different cultures is through food.

Brea and I are working on a little questionnaire for the students to get to know a little more what kind of foods they miss the most from their homes.


Do you feel like Green Organics is gaining support from the Fairfield community?

Green Organic was truly created for the Fairfield community. I honestly never pictured myself becoming a Chef, I don’t have classically trained culinary experience.  But I am very passionate about hospitality and the food/beverage industry.  I am always learning and I am very grateful to have a catering to maharishi boarding studentjob during this time when so many people in the industry are struggling so much.

I was really impressed with how abundantly produce grows in Fairfield coming from a concrete jungle, and my feeling was-Fairfield really needs a Farm-to-Table dining experience.  The delivery option has really seemed essential for many of my clients who either don’t cook, or want to get a break from cooking.  Thank you Fairfield, I am honored to provide you with this service, and I only hope the business continues to grow and reach more of the community.

 

Find out what a day in the life of a boarding student is like, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

To read more about boarding at Maharishi School, click here.

NY Times Article: Dear Teenagers, Here’s How to Protect Your Emotional Well-Being

Teen health is an ongoing conversation that’s so important to have during this unprecedented time. Our teens can feel especially vulnerable and emotionally strained during times of isolation. We love this article written by Lisa Damour posted on the New York Times about teen health that we had to share it with you!

Guidance for teenagers on staying steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Following my most recent column offering adults a 2020 back-to-school list for teens’ emotional well-being, several teenage commenters asked that I address them in the same way that I address their parents: “as intelligent people who have the tools to support themselves and their loved ones through this trying time.”

Dear teenagers, you are right. And I’m so glad you asked. Here’s my guidance on what you can do to keep yourself steady in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Make the Most of Your Emotional Superpowers

Teenagers experience feelings more intensely than adults do, both negative and positive ones. While this amplifies the psychological discomfort you’re certainly experiencing right now, it also means that you get more out of pleasures and delights. These days the only bright spots many of us are finding are small ones, and for a lot of adults, these don’t feel very satisfying. But for you, small comforts and joys are more comforting and joyful than they are for adults. So, when your mood needs a lift, make the most of this emotional superpower.

What makes this power work for you will be highly personal. You might enjoy video games, pumpkin spice treats, cuddling your pet, being in nature, listening to music, going for a run or doing something else altogether. The adults in your life might not quite grasp how happy it makes you to watch your favorite movie for the umpteenth time. That’s OK. Just know what gives you a boost right now and enjoy it fully.

Trust Your Feelings

When you are worried, sad, stressed, frustrated or anything else, trust that you are almost certainly having the “right” feeling. I say this because you have been raised in a culture that is unnecessarily fearful of unpleasant emotions and which may have given you the impression that emotional distress invariably signals fragile mental health. This is not true. In upsetting times, feeling upset proves, if anything, that your emotions are working exactly as they should. You are in touch with reality — a painful one though it is — and attuned to your circumstances.

When your mood is good, trust that too. With the world off its axis, you might wonder if it’s all right to let yourself feel at ease. It is. Should you notice that calm emotional waters follow stormy waves of distress, don’t assume that you have somehow lost touch. In all likelihood, you have processed and moved past a painful mood, largely by allowing yourself to have it.

Count on Your Psychological Circuit Breakers

Sometimes we helpfully make room for unpleasant feelings. Other times psychological defenses kick in on their own like circuit breakers to protect us from emotional overload. Though psychological defenses can be problematic, such as when people use denial to ignore a painful truth, they are often healthy and can help us regulate how much of an upsetting situation we take on all at once.

For instance, you might notice that the anger you feel about your disrupted school days gives way to an appreciation for your growing self-sufficiency. Shifting from exasperation to rationalization maintains your connection to what’s happening while reducing the emotional charge. Using humor — say, when you are inspired to find inventive ways to crack up your classmates to manage the sheer frustration of sitting through online classes — works the same way. Here’s the point: Your mind is built to help you through this hard time. Put stock in its ability to keep your emotional current at manageable levels.

Have a Basic Plan for Mental Health Maintenance

Plenty of sleep and physical activity will improve your mood, reduce your stress, and increase how much you like yourself and other people. Enjoy the company of people who soothe and energize you. Steer clear of those who leave you feeling stirred up or spent.

Distribute your mental energy with care. So much will go sideways this year, and you have every right to resent the challenges and frustrations of Covid-19. Allow yourself time to be upset. Then try to direct the bulk of your energy toward that which you can control. What kind of friend do you want to be this year? What do you want to learn and get better at? What can you do to support others? Focus on what remains within your power, because exercising that power will help you feel better.

Understand When to Worry

If distress is to be expected, when is it time to worry? A first reason would be if your unwanted emotions start to feel like bad roommates: constantly around and taking the fun out of everything. It’s one thing if sadness, anxiety, irritation, outrage or grief stop by for a visit. But it’s another if they move in or linger for more than a day or two.

A second reason for concern would be if you find yourself routinely using unhealthy strategies to numb or contain painful feelings. Avoiding everyone, being cranky all the time, misusing substances, or sacrificing sleep to binge on social media may bring relief in the short term but create bigger problems down the line.

Finally, you should be worried if you feel you might harm yourself or do not feel safe in some other way. Should you be concerned about your own well-being, or that of a friend, reach out to a trusted adult. Tell a parent, a counselor at your school, or any other grown-up you can count on to take the situation seriously and mobilize the proper supports.

These are incredibly difficult times that are emotionally taxing for everyone. But teenagers should not underestimate the value of their own special strengths. Understanding, harnessing and protecting your mental health resources will serve you well now, and for the rest of your life.

 

School in the Time of a Pandemic

Things are different this year…

sanitize hands students 2020 coronavirus pandemic

Students using hand sanitizer before each class.

It’s two weeks into the 2020 school year at Maharishi School and the students are just starting to settle into

their new way of learning in a pandemic. For some that means social distancing and wearing a mask inside the classroom with their peers, for others that means staying home and logging into Zoom on the computer.

We currently have 72% of our student population in person, who get their temperature taken each day, sanitize their hands before stepping into the classroom and wear masks while inside the building.

How do the kids feel?

indie in school learning kindergarten during pandemic

Indie Picard

I’ve gotten feedback from several parents and students about what they’re going through with this new hybrid learning. Emmy Auge is the mother of Indira Picard, a 5 year old who just started Kindergarten and is doing in-class learning.

 “Indie is doing better with her mask than I anticipated, she’s definitely understanding the safety precautions of wearing it. Her class size is so small that it seems less scary for her than if she was in a class of 20 or 30 kids. I’m happy with her being in school because I know she missed the stimulation and routine of school. Seeing her friends, even if it’s from a distance, is so beneficial for her happiness.”

Lily Fenton is 16 years old, in 11th grade and participating in both in-class and online learning, here she talks about these changes;

lily in school and online learning during pandemic

Lily Fenton

    “I’m doing well with in school learning, although it is weird having half of my class online. I like having a schedule and a place where I can have face-to-face connections. Before coming to school in-person, I thought that online school was my preference, however, I have found that I am more productive when I have the feeling of physically going somewhere. Additionally, during our first days of school, I thought that the masks and new protocols were hard to deal with because it was something I was not used to. Now, the masks and protocols have reached normalcy and have integrated well into my day to day life.”

 

What’s it like learning online?

Natalie Kahiu is 9 years old in 4th grade and her mother Mala Markowitz talks about how she’s currently doing with online learning;

      “Natalie wakes up enthusiastic and eager to learn remotely from the comfort and ease of home. She loves to go outside in her new

natalie online learningneighborhood during recess or writing to reflect on the world around her. She likes to draw and write about what she sees. So much to learn! She loves remote learning. Her next big adventure is global learning where she gets to travel in an RV and move around from state to state learning about different cultures, food and people. She wants to study anthropology in college and she wants to be an anthropologist when she grows up.”

Return to learning during a pandemic

At Maharishi School we believe that in-person schooling is the priority for the holistic health and development of our students. In-person education allows greater social-emotional experience with peers and teachers, more hands on learning, and more easily facilitated group projects.

We are still accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. Our Admissions Team is available to connect and we encourage you to reach out to us at admissions@maharishischool.org

To learn more about how Maharishi School has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Missing Maharishi School Tennis? We Have Too!

History of Tennis

maharishi school tennis champions

Tennis is one of the predominant sports at Maharishi School. Our Pioneer tennis program is renowned in Iowa for 20 State Championships–singles (9), doubles (6) and team tennis (5). Maharishi School is the only Iowa high school to win three Triple Crowns (1999, 2000, 2014) winning State Singles, Doubles, and Team titles in the same year. It’s also true that Maharishi School is the only Iowa high school to win consecutive Triple Crowns–1999 and 2000. Needless to say we love tennis!

Our four indoor courts and our outstanding coaches provide a path to excellence and several of our graduates have gone on to compete at the university level.

On-court success can be measured in another way, beyond wins and losses. We have a proud tradition of exemplary sportsmanship, of demonstrating our school’s Core Values of Respect and Responsibility, even in the heat of competition. That is social and emotional fitness, another factor in a well-balanced, integrated life.

Tennis tournament in Fairfield

Maharishi School didn’t get to have a spring tennis season at all this year due to the coronavirus, so our Head of School Dr. Richard Beall organized a fun and competitive tournament! This way everyone who missed out on the previous season could join together with the addition of teachers, alumni and community members. Here are some pictures of those who participated in the event.

 

maharishi school girls sportsmaharishi school alumni tennismaharishi school boys sportsmaharishi school tennis

Click here to see more pictures from the event on our Flickr account!

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

Find out about our school events and student life, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.