Executive Functioning, Crista Ward

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The 8th graders and I just wrapped up a class that was full of lively discussion and self-reflection. Our topic of focus was our “Personal Bank Account.” This account is not for monetary transaction, rather personal and emotional transactions. As with a traditional bank account, with a PBA you can make deposits and withdraws. Deposits would improve your self-worth and over all well-being. Examples of deposits would be things like random acts of kindness, keeping promises to yourself, being gentle with yourself (not being too hard on yourself, expecting too much of yourself, ) being honest with yourself and giving yourself opportunities for renewal (things that help you relax, recover or redirect.) Withdraws would include opposites of those positive deposits such as being dishonest, wearing yourself out, and breaking promises to yourself. We discussed ways to make deposits to ourselves, shared examples of recent deposits and examined how we exhibit self-discipline, another deposit. The students had to come up with questions from their reading and I was impressed with how thoughtful they were. Also, upon hearing other’s questions, they were eager to offer their thoughts in regards to the questions. One of the recurring themes in the book and especially in this chapter is that everything takes practice. No one expects them to be making deposits to the PBA all day every day and it may feel awkward at first, but practicing these positive movements in their lives helps these crucial skills become easier and eventually second nature.