Mr. Thygesen Shares Plans for Video Series

Dear PRA Parents,

With the weather changes, the well-spaced breaks, and the upcoming holiday season, the second quarter of the school year always seems to fly by, both at school and at home. When my kids were young, I would look at my boys, another year older and another year closer to being adults, and I found myself annually repeating the phrase, “I can’t believe it’s been a year since…”, every time Thanksgiving and Winter Break approached. 

I do the same as a principal. This bittersweet passing of time is a reminder that our children are only kids for a short period in their lives. We should take this precious time to invest every resource we have in helping them grow into productive, responsible, and happy adults. Our goal is to use our experience and what we’ve learned over the years to become one of your resources in this quest.

This is what I hope Ms. Baldwin and I have done with our video series that started with “Testing Culture” in September and was followed by “Make it Stick” last month. Granted, we aren’t going to be nominated for any Academy Awards in the coming years for video production, but the content is good, relevant, and contains strategies that you can use to help your kids thrive. If you haven’t started watching our videos yet, please do so over the next couple of days. You’ll be glad you did, and my hope is that these slide decks will motivate you to share what you’ve learned with your kids so that you can grow together as a family. Here is our schedule of release, with links provided if available, in the coming months:

September 2022 - Testing Culture

October 2022 - Make it Stick, The Science of Learning

December 2022 - Mindset (Coming Soon)

January 2022 - How to Raise an Adult

February 2022 - Screen Time and it’s Impact on our Kids

March 2022 - Coping with Anxiety

May 2022 - The Coddling of the American Mind

You would make my day if you would watch the videos and help us get each one to over 200 views. Right now, “Testing Culture” is at 131 views and “Make it Stick” is at 51, so we have some work to do. 

As an incentive to watch, I want to give you a short testimonial. I tried out Spaced Retrieval last week, a technique from Make it Stick, with some Danish lessons I’m taking on Duolingo. Typically, I get about 80% to 89% correct on my lessons, with the occasional anomalous perfect score or the humbling 60% on a bad day. I employed spaced retrieval with flashcards for just 15 minutes one day as a test, and the next day I got 100% on four lessons in a row. I can also confirm that my oldest child used this technique all the way through his master’s degree and aced every one of his classes—from calculus to physics to accounting. Now is a great time for you to help your student academically and socially by listening to the videos and putting these tips into action. If you’d like to know what platform I used to build flashcards and a quizzing platform, please feel free to send me an email and I’d be happy to discuss.

Thank you for reading through this post today. I’m grateful for your time, and I wish you a great holiday week with your family.

Take care,

Steve Thygesen

PRA Middle School Principal