“Could you please talk?”
The silence of a dozen teenagers staring at their phones before class starts and/or during break has become alarming to me.
I tell the class: “there is a remarkable interactive application sitting right next to you.” The kids laugh and sometimes it breaks the ice so that they can start talking to one another.
In working with students in small town Connecticut shoreline suburbs through the years, I know what happens to most during the college process and even into their first few years of college. Those that do well in college not only do well academically but also do well socially. And, I certainly don’t mean partying. Instead, I mean they have the capacity to meet and develop friendships.
I live in Old Saybrook. Single elementary, middle and high school. The same 100 students each year. Cliques develop. Students stay in their comfort zones. Some get so used to only interacting with the same dozen or so students that they have a hard time meeting others. I see the same in similar towns such as Old Lyme. Madison, Guilford, and East Lyme have the issue but to a lesser degree. Valley Regional, in part because it combines Essex, Chester, Deep River, and Centerbrook residents, has the issue but also to a lesser degree.
Something wonderful happens to many in our test prep class. They start out tentative in their social interactions but towards the end of the session they usually move off their phones and interact with one another.
The benefit of our SAT-ACT Mastery Seminar is primarily raising SAT scores but it also serves to start the college process.