Author JoAnn Deak Speaks At GPS

Friday, May 30, 2014
Dr. JoAnn Deak
Dr. JoAnn Deak

Dr. JoAnn Deak, noted author, educator, and psychologist, spent Thursday with the GPS faculty and staff, explaining the good and bad of the adolescent brain and offering advice for generating mindful, not “mind full” learning in the classroom. Dr. Deak’s presentation at GPS was a gift from interim Head of School Dr. Sue Groesbeck.  

Dr. Deak is the author of four books: How Girls Thrive, Girls will be Girls, The Fantastic Elastic Brain, and The Owner’s Manual for Driving your Adolescent Brain. “Your job as a teacher,” she told the GPS faculty, “is to extend each girl’s uni-focus as much as possible before she leaves.” Multi-tasking, she said, costs time, leads to mistakes and a deteriorating laser, or uni-, focus in adolescents, and develops a brain that “habituates an increased need for multi-stimulation.” Much better, she said, is a deep, linear focus that “leads to profound thinking.” 

In addition to demystifying brain research and the differences between the genders, Dr. Deak stressed what she calls the “IPO method of teaching.” According to her, a teacher should devote 20 minutes on the input of information, two minutes on deep processing of the information, and a similar amount to the output by the student. “You need to teach girls to fight through problem-solving and ambiguity and help them fight to figure something out. They need to use, or stretch, every part of their brain.”  

Explaining that a girl needs “connected” teaching, a belief that a teacher cares about her, she advised teachers to use the word misstep rather than mistake and to acclimate girls to giving an incorrect answer. “Missteps are less costly in a girls’ school,” she said. “When girls can work together, they take more risks, face conflict, and come out sturdier.” 

She received laughter and a smattering of appreciative applause when she said the “teachers of adolescent girls should make more money than professional athletes.”


Lee's Summer Honors Program Has Record Attendance

Lee University’s Summer Honors residential program concluded another two-week term, exposing high-achieving students to numerous aspects of college life at Lee.  This year’s Summer Honors drew 173 students to Lee’s campus, an all-time record for attendance.   While at Summer Honors, students got a head start on their college career by earning six hours of academic ... (click for more)

Gail Phillips Of Chattanooga Elected Tennessee State PTA President

The Tennessee PTA has elected Gail Phillips of Chattanooga to serve as the president of the Tennessee Congress of Parents and Teachers Association.  Ms. Phillips passion and journey began when her children started kindergarten at McBrien Elementary School in East Ridge. She has served in local, council, and state level positions throughout her PTA journey. ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Non-Custodial Father Who Picked Up Children At Chattanooga Daycare Is Caught In Ohio

A non-custodial father who picked up his children at a Chattanooga daycare and headed north has been caught in Ohio. T ony Thomas and the children have been located in Toledo. T homas is in custody in Lucas County and awaiting extradition. T he children were unharmed and will be in Child Protective Services custody until the mother is able to pick them up. ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)