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The Woods Academy

Where curiosity and confidence thrive.

Working Towards Being Your Best Self

Dr. Andy Rhein, Director of Guidance and Counseling

We're all working towards the same goal, which is helping the students here work towards being their best selves.

I’m fortunate to be in a position where I get to talk with so many of our parents about their children. The fact that parents trust me to do that is not something that I take for granted.  Sometimes, I talk with parents about struggles with emotions or behavior that they and/or the teachers might be seeing in the class or at home, and sometimes there are questions about labels – as in, are the issues part of an actual diagnosable problem, or just a part of “normal” development?  It’s a tricky thing, because it’s sometimes hard to determine what behaviors kids will simply grow out of versus what they might need some help with.

There is value in knowing the difference. Knowing that something has a diagnosis – a label – enables us to more accurately determine what the specific intervention should be.  That said, labels aren’t always the most important thing. If a student comes to me and they’re dealing with anxiety, low mood or distractibility, but it’s not at the diagnostic threshold of Anxiety, Depression or ADHD, that doesn’t mean that I should ignore it because it’s not a big enough deal. If something is getting in the way of someone’s functioning, even if it isn’t an actual diagnosis, we should find resources to help. They may or may not grow out of it (at some point), but a thoughtfully considered nudge with the right intervention doesn’t hurt. 

Raising healthy kids isn’t an exact science. At least, I haven’t found it to be. If one of our Woods parents sees issues with their child and want to talk it over, I am always available for a phone call or meeting. On the school end, if we see issues, we’ll reach out to our parents.  None of it is meant to be threatening or insulting – rather, we’re all working towards the same goal, which is helping the students here work towards being their best selves.