robertsona
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Last Active 01-10-23 3:58 pm
Joined 05-13-09

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5 COGNITIVE TIPS FOR TEENS + ALBUMS I PLAY IN CLASS

“Every month or so I show my advisory period of 19 senior-year high schoolers this PowerPoint slide, irreverently titled “cognitive tips I made up,” and I’ve found that they connect both to the initiatives I put out there and to the overall project of reducing stress through awareness of one’s thought process and proactivity in one’s behaviors. I thought I’d share it and explain, as I do to my students, what exactly they mean: I hope these seem helpful to someone looking to talk to their students about work ethic, cognitive awareness, and general strategies to manage stress.”
1Sampa the Great
The Return


“CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF” (aka “STEP OUTSIDE”)

The first tip urges students to step outside the force field of impulse and check in with how their decision-making has been making them feel lately.
2Res
How I Do


“GIVE YOURSELF THE OPTION”

The second tip reminds students that when they have even that infinitesimal spark in them to get something done they should prioritize action steps which will corral them more options in their personal, academic, and professional life—you simply do not gain from the act of choosing not to read a book.
3Brian Eno
Ambient 1: Music For Airports


“DON’T FREAK OUT TOO MUCH” (aka “THE 4-7-8(-5) RULE”)

The third tip offers students the specific step of deep breathing when they feel like they’re freaking out past the subjective threshold of any helpfulness: in for 4, hold for 7, out for 8, five times. Then, check in with yourself.
4Nujabes
Metaphorical Music


“YOU CAN NEVER ENTIRELY OPT OUT OF MAKING A DECISION” (aka “STEP FORWARD”)

The fourth tip works to prevent students from getting that awful feeling when they are torn between doing something they need to do and not doing it, often experienced as the desire to opt out of making a decision—ending inevitably in an unproductive or harmful decision being made. Helping to instill awareness of this cognitive process opens space for students to more effectively take control of their relationship to work.
5Sade
Love Deluxe


“YOU HAVE TO PLAY BALL TO SOME EXTENT”

The fifth tip uses a sports metaphor to affirm for students that they are never entirely playing by the rules nor breaking them 100%, again developing awareness of the process of picking and choosing and helping to break down stultifying conceptual binaries for students when it comes to structures of authority and discipline, guiding them toward a more fully managed dynamic of rule-following and small-scale interventions.
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