The Suite Life
Happy February and greetings from The Suite Life! We hope this newsletter finds everyone staying safe and warm. This month, Student Services begins academic advising with grades 9 through 11 to help students choose courses for the 2021-2022 school year. We understand this process can feel stressful as we plan for the future and we hope the following Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lesson recaps and information will offer some tips to students and families about coping with some of these feelings. Counselors will be meeting one on one with each student to answer questions and help plan their next year at TJHSST. Also included below are the links to our curricular resources that were presented at Curriculum Night for Parents and also to student at the Curriculum Fair in January.
The latest two Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons focus on the SEL core competency of Self-Awareness. The Self-Awareness competency is characterized as recognizing and reflecting on the role of one’s values, feelings, interests, abilities and multiple facets of identity in shaping one’s thoughts and actions. The topics of discussion during homeroom are Impostor Syndrome and Anxiety & Stress.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
We've all made unfair assumptions that our peers are more competent, successful, and prepared than ourselves. This internal experience of believing you are not as competent as others perceive you to be is referred to as Impostor Syndrome. In high pressure environments, these feelings can sometimes lead to anxiety and depression.
To move past these feelings, you need to become comfortable confronting beliefs you hold about yourself. This can be hard because you might not even realize that you hold them, but here are some ways to cope:
- Share your feelings. Talk to other people about how you are feeling. These irrational beliefs tend to fester when they are hidden and not talked about.
- Focus on others. If you see someone who seems awkward or alone, ask that person a question to bring them into the group. As you practice your skills, you will build confidence in your own abilities.
- Stop comparing. Every time you compare yourself to others in a social situation, you will find some fault with yourself that fuels the feeling of not being good enough or not belonging. Instead, during conversations, focus on listening to what the other person is saying and using empathy as a guide.
- Use social media moderately. We know that the overuse of social media may be related to feelings of inferiority. If you try to portray an image on social media that doesn't match who you really are or that is impossible to achieve, it will only make your feelings of being a fraud worse.
Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress and characterized by persistent and sometimes excessive worrying, recurring intrusive thoughts, restlessness, trouble sleeping and fear. Anxiety is normal and helpful in certain situations but can also be detrimental when we become overwhelmed. Students are processing continuously unsettling national and worldwide issues while experiencing the pressure and high expectation to succeed in their daily life. These are just a few contributors to high levels of stress that can lead to anxiety. The SEL lesson offered tips to deal with stress and testimonials from our very own FCPS superintendent, Dr. Brabrand, and former TJHSST students. Teachers also offered students some ways they manage stress as demonstrated in this word cloud.
SEL Dinner table conversation starters:
- Have you ever felt inadequate in certain situations at school or work? Why do believe you have felt this way?
- What are the strengths you bring to school/work that you may not always realize and for which you should give yourself credit?
- What strategies do you employ or have you learned to manage stress?
- Article: Feel like a Fraud? (American Psychological Association)
- Article: Healthy ways to handle life's stressors (American Psychological Association)
- Schools, Families and Social Emotional Resources
- CASEL Parent Resources
Curricular Resources available on the TJHSST Website:
- TJHSST Curricular Resource Webpage
- Various links and resources to support students and families with academic planning with videos for each grade level.
- TJHSST Online Course Guide
- A listing and description of nearly all TJHSST course offerings.
- TJHSST Course Guide Addendum
- Details of courses that are not yet listed in the TJHSST Online Course Guide but are available for the 2021-2022 school year.
- TJHSST Course Selection Sheet
- A one-page selection sheet of course titles and course numbers
Community Resources - Seeking Help
Sometimes the help we seek is related to mental wellness, for ourselves, a friend, or family member. If you or a friend are experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact one of the following for immediate support:
CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077
- CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one.
CrisisText: Text NEEDHELP to 85511
Mobile Crisis Unit: 703-573-5679
- The Mobile Crisis Unit (MCU) is an emergency mental health program of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board that provides on-scene evaluation, treatment and crisis intervention in the community. MCU operates from 8 a.m. to midnight.
- The Merrifield Center, of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, offers a range of clinical programming. Emergency Services, staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, works with people in psychiatric crisis who need immediate attention.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE
Call 911 in case of a life threatening emergency; TTY dial 711
How to reach your counselor and the Student Services team? Click here for all contacts: Student Services
This document contains links to one or more web pages that are outside the FCPS network. Neither FCPS nor TJHSST controls the content or relevancy of these outside pages.
**External opportunities may utilize an online technology, or video and web conferencing tool that has not been assessed or approved for use in FCPS by the FCPS Department of Information Technology. Students should gain permission from their parent/guardian before engaging in any non-FCPS enrichment opportunity. Families should review and agree to the Terms of Service and User Agreements for any technology platform used to facilitate these opportunities.