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Dr. Song's Corner

Executive Function and Students

September 20, 2018
By Dr. Jason Song

Why do some students have behavior issues or struggle with school work? That's probably THE #1 question asked by educators and parents!  Many pundits point to various causes, but I'd like to briefly describe what is known as "executive functions" of the brain.

Brain researchers tell us that the executive function does not develop fully until the early to mid-20s, and the development takes longer for boys than girls. Given that this executive function in one's brain is responsible for concentration, organization and planning, solving problems, regulating emotions, managing relations, and processing information, we as parents and teachers must take this neurological finding into consideration when working with students.

According to Margaret Searle:

It is crucial for parents and teachers to be aware that many students with delays won’t pick up on these skills for a long time, even when shown repeatedly how to handle them. Patience, redirection, and positive feedback are the keys to both academic and behavioral success. We can make a difference, but it will be a marathon, not a sprint.

Do you have a child who has short attention span? Before labeling that him/her with "ADD," we need to be more patient and intentional in providing direction, guidance, and support. What about the student who "forgets" homework assignments or responsibilities? Again, we must avoid labels and seek concrete ways to help her "remember" things (ex. interactive notebooks, voice recorders, email reminders, post-it, highlighting, etc.) Some students are more impulsive and spontaneous than others. Rather than calling them "trouble makers" or "hyperactive," we need to firmly yet lovingly provide boundaries, and opportunities to self-reflect and empathize with others.

I am proud that NCA's teachers are purposefully creating an environment that allows for the development of executive functions in our students. Through "Growth Mindset," we are encouraging our students to focus on expanding their capacity to learn and mature. I pray and hope that all parents will also endeavor to support their child.

He's Got Your Back

September 10, 2018
By Dr. Jason Song

“I got you.”

“I got you covered.”

“I got your back.”

These are some comforting words, aren’t they? Whether we’re short on cash, strength, or courage, it’s nice to know that someone is standing with us, ready to provide that extra help or push.

In Psalm 18, David refers to God as his:

  • Strength
  • Rock
  • Fortress
  • Deliverer
  • Shield
  • Horn of salvation
  • Stronghold
  • Refuge
  • Listener
  • Rewarder
  • Savior
  • Light
  • Trainer
  • Equipper
  • Rescuer
  • Exalter

And, in Verse 18, David explicitly says that the Lord is his “support.” That’s it! God is our supporter! He is the one who “carries (-port)” us, with his hands beneath (-sub) us.

“No man is an island,” and no one should navigate through life alone. We all need friends, family, and others who can stand with us as we weather the storms of life. I know firsthand that my family and friends have helped me countless times in the “pickles” of life. What’s incredible is that they were placed in my life by God so that He can help me through them. And, ultimately, even if friends and family fail me, God whispers in my ear, “I am here. I got your back.”

God is our greatest Supporter. He roots for us. He cheers us on. He walks with us and surrounds us with his presence and providence. So, go with God today, for He goes with you. He’s got your back. He’s your #1 Supporter.


Tags: Psalm 18, support

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