Structured Style—The preference of having and following routines and being organized, and the preference of setting clear goals and plans before undertaking activities.
If you remember or revisit my post on personal competence, you’ll see that I spent a good chunk of it writing about goal setting and the impact it can have on raising competence. Now, right there in the header for structured style, is a mention of setting goals and plans. Although each of these five components of resilience are separate and measureable on its own, I have found through my research that there is some overlap, and that a change in one can effect change on another, especially when it comes to pairing the personal components or pairing the social components. With that being said, let’s dig into structured style and what we as educators and parents can do to increase structured style within adolescents.
So, since we acknowledge that setting process- and action-oriented SMART goals can impact both personal competence and structured style, I am going to focus on organization. Here at Springer, we have embedded intentional practices to foster the skills that are displayed with those who have good executive function. On the Primary and Intermediate levels, strategies such as checklists and graphic organizers help students to organize both student behaviors and learning. Also, on those two levels, students are introduced to technology that can begin to outsource the frontal lobe (the center for executive function in the brain) and improve executive function.
In the Upper School, all students work with MacBook Pro computers. By using software like Notebook, iCal, Kurzweil, and others, students effectively have a one-stop shop for organizing their day and learning. This is especially important as the learning environment loses some of the consistency that is found in the Primary and Intermediate levels where students work within one classroom throughout most of the day. Upper School students navigate through a 6-period schedule, and those transitions require a greater deal of organization and planning as students move throughout the day.
Parents can help reinforce good organization and planning strategies at home by instituting some structure and consistency to afternoon and nightly activities.
Establishing clear expectations for homework completion times, providing a distraction-free and organized work space, and allowing adolescents to contribute to family calendar planning all have the ability to inspire structured style growth at home.
In the remaining blog posts in this series, I will move into an adolescent’s social environment. Here’s a preview: friends and family are important!
Blogger Jason T. Mott, Ed.D., shares his expertise in raising resilience for young adolescents and improving learning outcomes for K-12 students. If you have questions, please contact Director of Learning Programs Carmen Mendoza at .