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Seminar Class in Middle School

By Barbara Sharkey and Susan Johnson

The ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates is known to have said, “Wisdom begins in wonder.” It is this wonder of the world and of themselves that sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Seminar class hopes to foster and develop. This once-weekly class meets to discuss strategies to be present, organized, informed, nonjudgemental, and curious about the world around us. Students learn easy-to-implement mindfulness and study skills techniques to help them cope with everyday stress like time management, friendships, schoolwork, communication skills, and self-image. Students read a variety of texts, see some fascinating Ted Talks and other videos, and learn a bit about the science behind the brain and how it works. For example, when we experience overwhelm that is when our amygdala fires up and we aren’t thinking clearly. This state of mind is apt to happen from time to time and is completely normal; this course helps students learn ways to train themselves to recognize the physical and emotional signs and deal with them accordingly. Play and creativity are also a big part of this class. 
Some of the topics covered in Seminar include:
  • Mindfulness
  • Study/Test-Taking Skills
  • Organization
  • Time Management
Some of the time in Eighth Grade Seminar is spent discussing high school. Students explore high school options, participate in mock interviews with adults on campus, and set goals as to what they would like to accomplish both before they leave Harbor Day School and in high school. Seminar is an upbeat, grade-free class where students can take that deep breath and enjoy wondering about their world. 

Growing up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience by Christopher Willard, PSYD


Article and Video:



Ted Talks:

Harbor Day School

3443 Pacific View Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625 Phone<title><script type="mce-text/javascript"> (function(a,e,c,f,g,h,b,d){var k={ak:"984895077",cl:"EfBCCP-Fv3UQ5ZzR1QM"};a[c]=a[c]||function(){(a[c].q=a[c].q||[]).push(arguments)};a[g]||(a[g]=k.ak);b=e.createElement(h);b.async=1;b.src="//www.gstatic.com/wcm/loader.js";d=e.getElementsByTagName(h)[0];d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a[f]=function(b,d,e){a[c](2,b,k,d,null,new Date,e)};a[f]()})(window,document,"_googWcmImpl","_googWcmGet","_googWcmAk","script"); </script><head><body>1-949-640-1410<html></html></body></head><br><br><br>
Harbor Day School is a co-educational private independent K-8 school established in 1952.