Being a Teenager: PSHE10 Lesson Plan for Thursday 8 October


1. LISTEN: Letters from Teenagers

Last week, you thought about what constitutes a good and healthy life and you examined how you are doing through a creative life audit.

Today, you are going to spend the first hour of class listening to a podcast called: Dear Sugar, Episode 20: Letters From Teenagers (60 minutes)

Listening Instructions: Please close all of the tabs on your computer and listen to this podcast with your headphones. You can absolutely find another place to sit in the room. No ~ you cannot nap.

2. WRITE: Letter to yourself

Watch this short video: Write a Love Letter to Yourself – Man on the Street (3 minutes + 40 seconds).

Write a letter to yourself. Write the letter that YOU need to receive right now.


Note: When you have completed the podcast and the letter, please use the time for something you need/want to do.

Little Movies of Awesome (PSHE10)


I saw this awesome girl on a unicycle near our school. It totally made me smile!

Over the past few weeks, the students in my PSHE 10 (Health and Wellness) class have been working on Little Movies of Awesome. Their videos feature 4 things that make them happy and for which they are grateful.  These videos are about 12 seconds each and students have provided links on the page below.


The Grade 10 Survey Sessions

During the next two university counseling sessions (6 November @ 11:50 a.m. and 12 November @ 3:15 p.m.), you will have 90 minutes to ensure that you have completed the following three surveys and resume:
1. Do What You Are/MBTI (Instructions here.)
2. Career Interest Survey (Instructions here.)
3. VIA Strengths Survey for Youth (Instructions here.)
4. Life Design Resume (Instructions here.)

When you have completed your surveys and resume, go to the list on the far left hand side of the page of the “About Me” tab and Click on “checklist”. Check tasks as complete.

Completing these surveys will help you make more informed IB course choices.

Summer Checklist for Juniors, Class of 2014

1. Complete university research
Based on your choice of program/major and other factors important to you such as region, size of school etc. you should develop a short list of 6-9 (maximum of 10) universities OR start working on your gap year plan. You will need to share your short list with Ms. McDiarmid on Monday 9 September.
* You may be interested in this Reddit AMA (Ask me anything), hosted by Daniel Grayson from Tufts University, about admission to highly selective schools.

2. University Research Chart
Using the University Research Chart, record application deadlines, the cost of tuition plus room and board, essay prompts and anything else that is helpful to know. Share this document with your parents.

Below is a chart from our YIS School Profile a couple of years ago which will help you convert your individual semester scores to a GPA out of 4. This conversion table will give you a better sense of which universities are a good reach/fit/safety school for you. *Please remember that we express your GPA as a number out of 7 on our YIS transcript.

3. University Essay
a) Make a list of all essays to be written. Begin the writing process:

  • brainstorm ideas
  • write an outline
  • write a first draft
  • b) Here are the notes from the Writing the College Essay session with Matt Segasture (from ESM) on Monday 17 June 2013 during Period o.

    c) I also recommend that you read A Plea From the Admissions Office to Go for the ‘Dangerous’ Essay by Daniel Grayson who works in Admissions at Tufts.

    4. Begin your online applications
    As early as possible, go to the Undergraduate Admissions page of the universities to which you are applying (OR Common Application for highly selective colleges in the USA ~ OR UCAS in the UK) and check to see if next year’s application is available. Familiarize yourself with the sections of the application and begin inputting your information. Remember to save as you go.

    5. Standardized Testing
    If you have not completed your standardized testing (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, Medical School Exams for the UK) OR you are not yet happy with your scores, register as soon as possible for exams in October and November at the latest. Please note that you can’t really be confident about your short list of universities until you have your final standardized test results.

    6. GCD Blog Posts
    If you plan to apply for the Global Citzen Diploma, write your blog posts over the summer.

    7. Make a decision regarding early applications

    Applying early can give students a real advantage; here is a discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of applying early. In the USA, student can apply via early action or through early decision which is binding. Early action or early decision might be right for you if you have done your research, are sure about your early application/decision choice and your SAT/ACT scores and YIS/IB Projected Scores (GPA) meet or exceed the admission profile for the college. 

    Students applying to Oxford OR Cambridge (you cannot apply to both) or UK medical or veterinary programs must apply through UCAS by 15 October. We recommend that all YIS students apply to their five UK university programs via UCAS in October and November.

    8. Visit university campuses
    If possible, it’s really helpful to visit the universities in which you are interested. Take lots of photographs and take notes on a set of questions/criteria that are important to you. Examples might include the level of friendliness of students and staff, the facilities, the amount of green space, the class size and transportation from campus to the centre of the city/nearest airport.

    Where you can find YIS internal deadlines and other documents:
    Deadlines for 2013/2014 University Application Process @ YIS
    LAUNCH PAD: University Counseling Resources, Class of 2014

    Note: If you work on university research, essays and applications for just 30 minutes a day, you will have a great head start on this process. {Trust me!}

    Happy summer, everyone!

    Graduating from YIS: Resources for Students and Parents

    Dear almost-graduates and your parents,

    It is so difficult to believe that you, the seniors of the Class of 2013, are about to graduate. Congratulation on your achievements during high school ~ your commitment to learning and thriving in the IB program, your amazing ability to survive on not-nearly-enough sleep, your dedication to your friendships and loving relationships, your growth as people, your generosity towards those less fortunate, and your enormous love of life.

    It has been a great pleasure to work with you as your counselor.

    Below, you will find links to the notes from both of the transitions sessions for students, and also the session for parents ~ to be read when you are ready to start processing the changes surrounding high school graduation.

    For students:

    1. Graduation Transitions Session for the Almost-Graduates, June 2013 (Google Document)

    2. University Transitions Retreat (Optional), April 2013 (Google Document)

    For Parents:

    3. Graduation + Transitions: An Evening for Parents of the Class of 2013, May 2013 (Google Document)

    See you at the graduation ceremony on Saturday!

    Ms. McDiarmid

    MBTI + Career Interest Survey, Grade 10

    1. Log on to Naviance.

    2. Go to the Careers tab. Under “What are my interests?” click on “Personality Type”.

    3. Complete “Do What You Are” and the Career Interest Survey.

    4. When you have already finished both of these surveys, please go to the “About Me” tab and then click on “Checklist”. Please click on the text that says “Mark this as completed”.

    5. Here are some MBTI resources for you to explore:

    a) MBTI Film:

    b) Frequently Asked Questions about MBTI

    c) Understanding the eight preferences (from this article):

    • Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
    • Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
    • Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
    • Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).


    *** The more you understand about yourself, your personality and your preferences, the easier it becomes to identify pursuits (both work and play) that will be meaningful and satisfying for you.

    Grade 11 University Session ~ Monday 15 April


    Applying to university is (like)…
    Please come up with a metaphor of your own and share it in pairs of groups of three.

    Housekeeping issues:

    1. If you are in Grade 11 and have not already done so, please join our Facebook group YIS College Counseling Class of 2014.

    2. We use Twitter to learn about university visits to YIS, potential universities for students and to share valuable resources.

    • If you already have an official (school) Twitter account, please follow YISUni here.
    • If you don’t have a Twitter account, please create one now and follow @YISUni.
    • Please note that I will follow everyone back so that we can be connected via Twitter.

    3. As of Saturday afternoon, four students still had not submitted their University Questionnaire. You know who you are… and what you need to do 🙂

    4. As you know, we are in the process of conducting University Conferences with each Grade 11 student and their family.

    • If you have not already made an appointment, please call you parents during this session (Ms. McD. will designate a time to do so) and make an appointment with Ms. Bryan who will be with us for this session.
    • Remember that one of your parents can skype in; we did a trial run on Friday and it worked well.
    • If there is some compelling reason why you cannot make an appointment, please speak with me privately.
    • The last date for University Conferences is Monday 29 April.

    5. What should you be doing now: A Checklist

    • Create a rich and interesting Long List of universities that you might like to attend. Your final list is due in early September 2013.
    • Fill in your University Research Chart (including the cost of tuition + room and board).
    • Know what exams you need to take ~ SAT, and SAT Subject Tests or ACT. Register now. Prepare well. As much as is possible, complete your tests in Grade 11.
    • Decide if you are pursuing the GCD. Write blog posts over the summer.
    • Plan university visits for the summer ~ if that is possible.
    • In the summer, begin writing rough drafts of university essays.
      ** If you are applying to US colleges, please note that the new Common Application Essay Prompts for 2014 are now available HERE
      ** A Plea From the Admissions Office to Go for the ‘Dangerous’ Essay by Daniel Grayson is the associate director of undergraduate admissions at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

    6. Q + A document here.

    7. Sign up for upcoming University Visits here (IE Madrid and Yale).

    8. Some interesting reading:
    To (All) the Colleges that Rejected Me by Suzy Lee Weiss
    An Open Letter to Suzy Lee Weiss by YingYing Shang
    Suzy Lee Weiss and the Age of Entitlement (Forbes)

    9. Our last University Counseling session of the year will be on Monday June 17 during Period 0.

    2013 Acceptance Rates at Highly Selective US Colleges

    Here are the 2013 acceptance rates of some highly selective colleges in America:
    Stanford 5.7%
    Harvard 5.8%
    Yale 6.7%
    Columbia 6.9%
    Princeton 7.3%
    MIT 8.2%
    University of Chicago 8.8%
    Brown 9.2%
    Dartmouth 10.1%
    Duke 11.6%
    Vanderbilt 11.9%
    UPenn 12.10%
    Northwestern 13.9%
    Swarthmore 14.0%
    Bowdoin 14.5%
    Pitzer 14.6%
    Cornell 15.2%
    Rice 16%
    Georgetown 16.5%
    Hopkins 16.8%
    Williams 16.9%
    Tufts 18.7%
    Middlebury 19.2%
    USC 19.6%
    Wellesley 28%.
    UVA 29.4%
    GWU 33%
    Macalester 34%
    Boston University 36%
    Union College (NY) 37%
    Kenyon College 38%
    Bryn Mawr 39%
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 41%

    Source: International Counselor

    Workshop Materials from Nourish, 16 March 2013

    {Lunch on Friday 14 March by Zest}

    Thanks to our community members who attended Nourish: First Annual Conference on Well-Being @ Yokohama International School.

    A very special thank you goes out to presenters Adam Clark, Eliza Kumamoto, Megumi Kamei, Keiko Inaba, and Damien Pitter from Yokohama International School as well as Michelle Vogel-Sala and Brenda Manfredi from NIST in Bangkok

    Here are the presentations and hand-outs from Nourish:

    Google/Sky Drive Presentations:
    Power Point Presentations (Please allow a bit more time for these to download)

    Nourish: The First Annual Conference on Well-Being @ YIS

    Hello, YIS parents and staff members!

    On Saturday, 16 March, YIS will be hosting a new event ~ Nourish: The First Annual Conference on Well-Being.

    This will be a half-day conference, running from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at which we will explore topics of interest to parents, students and staff at our school.  The common thread running throughout the morning will be about nourishing ourselves and our family members; we will focus on moving towards greater wellness of mind, spirit and body.

    The opening session will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Loft and we will then move into smaller workshops in classrooms. Each participant will be able to choose two workshops to attend.

    Here are descriptions of the workshops:

    1. Bilingualism: What you can do to get the most out of bilingualism (Eliza Kumamoto)
    We will explore:
    • what does bilingualism mean to you?
    • different types of bilingualism
    • how do languages affect personal, social, emotional life?
    • what can parents do to foster bilingualism at home?
    *Please note that participants will have an opportunity to ask their questions in Japanese

    2. Brain Food: The ideas and images we feed our thoughts (Damien Pitter)
    You are what you eat, or so the story goes.  We think a lot about what we eat, balancing taste and nutrition.  But we are much more than what we eat.  We are what we consume.  We are also what we read, what we watch, what we listen to.  These things we consume are the food for our thoughts.  In this session we will consider popular music, television, books, magazines, media and internet sites and services; we will ask whether they are nutritious and help our thinking to grow, or if they appeal to our immediate tastes, but come at a high cost in the long run.

    3. Buffy vs Bella: Raising Girls to Thrive in a Vampire World (Monna McDiarmid)
    By comparing and contrasting popular culture figures Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bella Swan from the Twilight series, we will examine how girls can develop a healthy sense of self-worth.

    4. Body Image: A Family Approach (Monna McDiarmid)
    Where do our ideas and stereotypes about bodies come from? How do we pass these ideas along to our children? Is there a healthier framework for thinking about our bodies and the bodies of others?

    5. What’s on your plate? My Plate replaces My Pyramid – New Dietary Guidelines (Meg Kamei & Keiko Inaba)
    a) To make it easier for parents to figure out how to feed their kids nutritious, balanced meals, we’ll introduce an easy-to-follow food guideline called My Plate
    b) What’s good for your children? by Ms. Keiko Inaba, Zest Catering Nutritionist.

    6. Family First Aid (Meg Kamei)
    Topics include how to treat fever, diarrhea, vomiting, burns, when to call a doctor, and how to call an ambulance in Japanese.

    7. Intentional Parenting (Adam Clark)
    The first component of this session will focus on a culturally infused examination/explanation of Diana Baumrind’s Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive Parenting Style Model. The second component of this session will be to discuss real-life 21st century intercultural parenting challenges, and what this model has to offer us in the present. The third component of this session will be to identify specific take-away ideas that we can build into our approach to parenting and interacting with our children.

    8. Family Recreation: Playing together in different contexts (Adam Clark)
    Tap into your playful spirit and come away inspired about how you can create more play in your family life between you, your spouse, and your children.

    9. Mindfulness: Nourishing our bodies and minds (Michelle Vogel from NIST)
    This session will explore what is causing stress for your teen and how this impacts them physically and emotionally, as well as their ability to learn. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in easily accessible practices that can be used to help their teen develop mindfulness strategies that enable them effectively cope with stress.

    10. Finding Balance in your Life as a Parent in the year 2013 (Brenda Manfredi from NIST)
    • The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In
    • Pushing VS Nurturing Our Children
    • Using Exercise to Promote Balance and Positive Family Interactions
    • Creating More Time with Your Children

    Conference Sign-up:
    Space is limited to 50 participants, so please sign up by sending an email to The deadline for signing up for the conference is Monday, 4 March.

    Workshop Sign-up:
    Registered participants will receive the workshop sign-up survey on Tuesday, 5 March.

    We look forward to learning with you.


    Eliza Kumamoto, Adam Clark and Monna McDiarmid
    Counselors at Yokohama International School