On Thursday, December 14th, the middle and high school students spent the afternoon on a “retreat” on the BAIS campus. The aim was to wrap up our first unit on social and emotional learning (and have fun while doing it!). Using The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens written by Sean Covey throughout the unit, students grappled with big ideas and skills like identifying their sphere of control, making sound goals, prioritizing, listening, synergizing/working together, reflecting, and taking care of themselves. The retreat began with two short and fun activities. Then students responded to statements using a four-corners activity, moving around a space to show the level of their agreement or disagreement. They shared their attitudes and feelings towards statements like “One of our essential agreements is to ‘Never give up, no matter the size of the mountain’. There is no mountain that can stand in my way.” The next activity was to synthesize the learning from the unit with their own personal history and construct a table of contents as well as a title for their autobiography. The group then participated in a collaborative art activity which built on the ideas the students generated. First designing symbols individually, the students then painted them collectively on a large canvas. Colorful, creative, and meaningful, the canvas will serve as a visual reminder of the past 3+ months of Pastoral Care and the growth our middle and high school students have achieved!