In 2018, a handful of Middle School teachers worked together to develop a six day orientation program called The Hun Way. This program is designed to create a space for students and teachers to get to know one another, learn how to build positive and supportive relationships, and understand the windows and mirrors that make up the individual experience at The Hun School. During The Hun Way experience, students also learn the ins and outs of positive psychology and participate in workshops on time management, organization, and success in the classroom.
Ken Weinstein, Middle School head, explains that it is quite the heavy lift to begin the academic year with six straight days of coordinated programming, but that the tone that this program creates is essential to building the culture we rely on and celebrate in the Middle School.
“Through The Hun Way, students get to know each other in an authentic way by discussing their common ground as well as their differences,” he said. “I’ve seen that by starting the school year off with this way, students are much more likely to extend kindness to one another and build the warm environment that we all seek here in the Middle School.”
Students started the week by exploring the idea of belonging, self-awareness, and critical thinking. They discussed what they are excited for in the upcoming school year and brainstormed strategic and attainable goals for themselves in the classroom. All Middle School students participated in a workshop on the five key elements of positive psychology: positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and accomplishment/achievement. Students then created action plans for incorporating these elements into their everyday lives.
At the end of the week, each grade participated in a trip or activity. Sixth grade students met with illustrator E.B Lewis and participated in a writing workshop with Leah Henderson. Seventh grade students took a trip to the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. Eighth grade students spent the day visiting Ellis Island.
See more photos from The Hun Way here.