JoAnn Deak, adolescent development specialist, spent Oct. 17, 2012, at Nobles speaking with students, faculty and parents. Deak specializes in brain research and helped students understand what factors contribute to optimal brain function and growth. “Your brain is growing tremendously,” she said.
She spoke about the importance of eating well, exercising, hydrating and getting enough sleep. In an afternoon session with the faculty, she discussed differences in male and female brain development, recommendations for teaching and giving homework and myths about stress.
She also identified two factors that make for effective teachers: 1) a teacher who makes it clear to each student that he or she cares about and is interested in that student and 2) a teacher who conveys excitement about the subject matter and passion for sharing it.
A recent Wall Street Journal article echoes and underscores some of the brain research about which Deak spoke: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444354004578060481988196480.html?mod=lifestyle_newsreel
Bottom line: Teens need sleep desperately, and they are not getting enough.