When it comes to improving our bodies or our minds being uncomfortable is a necessity. Only when we push ourselves past our comfortable limits are our bodies and minds forced to adapt. In the academic world, we refer to this level of discomfort as the Zone of Proximal Development. The theory behind the Zone of Proximal Development is simple. The theory states that students grow their academic abilities when challenged just beyond their capabilities.
At Ash Fork Middle School, we foster experiences for students to be uncomfortable with team building. Students find success in uncomfortable situations that involve puzzles, food, and physical movement. In the past, students have eaten mysterious jars of baby food to find clues hidden at the bottom of the jar, have gone on scavenger hunts to find missing tangram puzzle pieces, and have hiked through Sedona's red rocks.
Team building allows students to be uncomfortable within a team and helps them overcome their discomfort individually. Whether conquering a 20-minute continuous run, becoming a confident leader, or passing their benchmarks, students have persevered through their mental and physical discomforts to find success this year.
As the school year approaches the final quarter, middle school students will have their last challenging teambuilding experience. During this teambuilding, students will encounter new locations and flavors, solve puzzles, work together to capture a flag, and have new chances to succeed through challenges. The middle school team is looking forward to experiencing these challenges with the students and empowering them to face their discomfort and grow.