At Ranney School, our goal is to help shape our graduates into curious, resilient, globally-minded leaders. As we send our Panthers into a multicultural world, we want them to be prepared in a way that enables them to be leaders focused on respectful partnership that leads to effective productivity.
The advancements of technology for this generation have made us so interconnected - which can be perceived as both positive and negative. Our goal is to create digitally responsible citizens who understand the positive uses and spend their energy focused only in those endeavors. Our role is to give our students and future leaders the tools for collaboration with people from different backgrounds, and resilience in the face of setbacks.
We have a comprehensive set of tools that we are using to achieve these goals. One such upcoming resource is a visit from Dr. Michael Thompson, renowned speaker and author.
Dr. Thompson will be on campus on January 8 to speak with Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School students, as well as spend time with faculty and parents. He will be focusing on bolstering social emotional learning (SEL) to combat bullying.
Dr. Thompson addresses important topics like how to foster positive social behaviors among adolescents as well as how students can remain resilient in the face of adversity. A consultant, author and psychologist specializing in children and families, Dr. Thompson has visited over 2,500 schools in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and has written a total of nine books focusing on the social and emotional development of children.
A dedicated speaker and traveler, Michael Thompson has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC 20/20, CBS 60 Minutes, The Early Show and Good Morning America. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time and U.S. News and World Report and has been a guest on NPR’s “Morning Edition” with Susan Stamberg, “Talk of the Nation'' with Ray Suarez and the Diane Rehm Show. He wrote, narrated and hosted a two-hour PBS documentary entitled “Raising Cain'' that was broadcast nationally in 2006.
Dr. Thompson's approach in his presentations is that of a psychologist; he leads interactive sessions focused on empowering students, faculty, and parents with respect to friendship and fostering positive social behaviors to build empathy and combat bullying.
During his workshops, Dr. Thompson typically delves into the complexity of children’s behaviors within social groups, shedding light on the influential “invisible rules” that govern group dynamics during crucial stages of development. His presentations reflect on how a child’s relationships with family members, their “first friends,” profoundly influence their subsequent relationships.
Beyond family attachments, Dr. Thompson also addresses the role of temperament, life’s ups and downs, the social climate at school, and parental attitudes toward a child’s social experiences.
In his presentation for parents and teachers, he provides effective and sensitive ways to respond to a child’s social challenges and how to distinguish normal social hurts from significant trauma.
“Having read his books, I am excited to welcome Dr. Thompson to our campus in January,” said Head of School Dr. John Griffith. “We appreciate his expertise in an area that always deserves attention and targeted focus. His insight, guidance, and best practices from his experience will help strengthen the Ranney Community and its members.”
In addition to this lecture series on resilience, Ranney School has put a number of other pieces in place to support students and create an inclusive environment: