|13 Jan 2017|
|WM Winter 2016 edition|
At AISB, our educational philosophy is to engage, prepare and inspire. Successful families also engage in actions that can t within this philosophy. We may consider family to be our immediate relations, extended relatives, a group of our closest friends, or family created by partnerships. What do successful people learn from family relationships? How does family help us? How can we ensure we’re nurturing the best environment for our family?
As a school counselor, I’ve had the experience of working closely with families of students who care greatly about the development and education of their children. As someone who takes these family experiences as integral to the development of an individual, I often think about the qualities of families and consider what actions and behaviors contribute to children growing into successful adults.
From infancy to young adult, families engage the child in opportunities to explore and negotiate social and environmental situations – constantly gaining insight to their individual interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses. As the child develops, so does the complexity of their experiences. As con dence grows, so does a repertoire of transferable skills. I work with many seniors who are applying to colleges in areas of the world they have never been to before. They feel comfortable doing this because they are aware that their skills are transferable to any environment. New experiences are constantly providing a new awareness of themselves and how to navigate the world around them.
Families prepare their children for life by teaching and setting the foundation of values, morals and problem solving skills that will help them negotiate the rest of their lives on their own.
This foundation is in essence, part of their support system. It is inevitable that our children will experience failure, just as they will experience conflict, because these things are a normal part of life. The key is to provide them the space to work through failure and con ict of increasing complexity, complimenting their developmental level. Students who are prepared are more able to navigate di cult situations and to know that it is all right when they don’t achieve an expected outcome. Thus, they will be better prepared to be successful in meeting other challenges in
life. Our children are negotiating a world that’s very di erent from the one previous generations had to negotiate. This is why they often refer to their peers for guidance and opinions. Yet family remains the most prevalent support system throughout a student’s development, and often also one of the most consistent.
Inspiration is creating the desire to attain something, and instilling the belief that it is possible. Families can inspire by showing children that their own thoughts, dreams, and ideas are important and valued. Believing in their abilities, and showing them that someone cares about them and is always cheering for and supporting them is an important step. Children from inspirational families have a strong belief in themselves and what they can realistically achieve in their lives.
However you de ne family, family is the ultimate support system where one nds security and belonging. Despite the fact that the nature of families is a dynamic one, ever- changing in structure, they provide the fundamentals for positive growth and success.
Oddny joined AISB at the start of the 2015 academic year as a High School Counselor working alongside Tim Battersby. Together, they work with students in grades 9 through
12 on various aspects of their social, personal, academic, and career development, overseeing the develop- ment and delivery of the grade 9-12 advisory programs and counseling students individually and as a group on social, emotional, and academic needs including transitioning, family changes, grief, and loss. Furthermore, they help students gure out their next chapter in life after high school by working
with grade 9 and 10 students in career planning, and supporting grade 11 and 12 students with university advice and applications. Whether it is applying to university, taking a gap year, or considering a vocational career, Oddny supports students in making wise and informed choices.
For the past seven years, Oddny has had the opportunity to work with students in Phoenix, Arizona in the US; Nairobi, kenya (ISk); and Jakarta, Indonesia (JIS). Prior to her k-12 expe- rience, she was an Academic Advisor, Disability Counselor and exchange Program Advisor for a small liberal arts college in New england, USA. Oddny is originally from the beautiful state of New Hampshire on the east coast of the US. She has two amazing grown sons: Paul (28) is an airline and military pilot, and Alex (26) is the General Man- ager of the Deluxe Diner in Newton, Massachusetts. Oddny loves to trail run, practice yoga and mindfulness, and spend time outdoors.
Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2016 edition here.
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