HRA faculty connect brain science to their classroom

Hampton Roads Academy faculty were recently treated to an engaging afternoon of professional development with Mind Positive Parenting's Erin Walsh.  A knowledgeable and dynamic speaker, Erin shared recent discoveries in brain science and connected those findings to the classroom.
Teachers found her lesson to be validating. In a school where our mantra has always been "we teach children not just our subject matter" this happens only because of caring teachers who find meaningful ways to connect with students. This connection while "non academic" is the integral link to academic achievement and self-discipline. Helping children understand how they learn is as important as what they learn. Teachers help students build their resilience "muscles" developing healthy ways to handle stress, disappointment and challenges. The power of yet! While a child struggles with a new concept, a difficult lesson or a failed assessment, hearing the teacher say "You are not there yet." or "I expect you to make some mistakes. It is the kinds of mistakes that you make along the way that tell me how to support you." This rich connection with a teacher will motivate a child to persist and stay focused on the process of learning. Connection is what teaching and learning is all about.

HRA Upper and Middle School faculty also spent time learning about and discussing juuling, as part of our on-going commitment to ensuring that our faculty are aware of behavioral trends of adolescents. Middle and Upper School faculty were part of a presentation and discussion about juuling. While juuling behavior is not new, the rise of its use amongst adolescents is of concern. Current data around prevalence of use, the impact on the teen brain, and prevention measures were discussed. Parents are encouraged to have discussions with their children about juuling and its associated risks.

For more information, please contact HRA’s Counselors Elizabeth Rous (757) 884-9387 ( or Lisa Thatcher (757) 884-9145 ( or visit HRA’s Parent Resource page where parent resources are available.