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A Message from Principal Kusch 05.23.22

A Message from Principal Anne Kusch

Hello Black Hawk families, 

It’s mid-May with only 11 student contact days left in the school year. The transition into summer brings a range of emotion for everyone. None of us are strangers to the range of feelings our middle school students cycle through and experience. Interestingly though, they don’t always know how to name them. New research done by Brene Brown shows that even adults have a hard time naming feelings outside of happiness, sadness, and anger when they are feeling them. Self-awareness, self-regulation, and the understanding and naming of feelings and emotions is critical in communicating our needs, problem-solving situations, and coping with the ups and downs of daily life.  

We try to provide students at BHMS with language to describe how they are feeling, which allows us to work with them to respond and support. A tool we’ve been using this year comes from the Gottman Institute. The Feeling Wheel helps students name their emotions and feelings. When we know how students feel, we can validate and affirm those feelings. Then together with students we can problem solve and plan. I encourage you to play with this tool this summer!

Naming, owning, and working through our feelings has never been so important - especially at the middle level.  It’s just one way we are teaching students self-awareness and self-regulation skills at BHMS. Self-awareness and self-regulation help students manage their feelings, their bodies, and their overall social and emotional behavior so they can focus during instructional time. Students who are self-aware and self-regulate at school perform better academically and at the same time support the regulation of their peers.  

Doing all of these things during the stress of the pandemic hasn’t been easy. As we enter into the last few weeks of school, please continue to support your student in talking about feelings, emotions, and expected behaviors at school. We want our students to finish strong, feeling safe, connecting, and proud of their learning this year.  

This social emotional work will not end with the close of the school year. We know the work is necessary as we support students in becoming successful life-long learners. Stay tuned for more learning during the 2022-23 school year.  

Until then, have a safe, restful summer. Please know how grateful I am for our learning community and the gifts that each of your students bring to it every day. I look forward to our continued partnership.

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