Today I was lucky enough to watch Dr. Michael Carr-Greg (Adolescent Psychologist) speak to a room of 400 people, most of whom were High School teachers in the public system of North Coast, NSW, Australia.
Carr-Greg is a high profile Oz psych who writes articles for such publications as the Sydney Morning Herald and Girlfriend magazine ( I heard the teacher sitting next to me groan with ignorant disapproval to that last one).
He is passionate about people, more specifically educators, knowing about what the brain research in the last 5-10 years has found. I've written about this myself, on this blog, and I can tell you: This man was like a long lost friend to see in action.
He put this to his audience:
The teenage brain secretes melatonin (sleep inducing chemical) at around 11pm each night, some kids get it at midnight. This we know. What we now also know is that the same teenage brain needs 8 hours sleep per night. So work it out... They stay up late and then we get them out of bed at 7.00 am to start school at 8.30. This actually means they are sleep deprived 5 times a week by 1 - 1 and a 1/2 hours.
Moreover, that last 1 hour sleep is REM sleep - the period of time that the brain dreams, processes all the day (before's) info, gets rid of the junk it doesn't need and completes the whole "good" night's sleep.
He said (I I love this guy), " I challenge every school principal in this room to delay your school's starting time till 10.00 am and take it through till 4.00pm.... Oh! I know!~ This is going to inconvenience all the adults. BUT WHO ARE YOU THERE FOR? ISN'T IT THE KIDS?"
There's more, so much more and I will post on what other things this man said, all the same stuff I've been reading up on for the last 2 - 3 years. We need people to fight for our young. It was a great inspiration to me to experience this.
Watch this man, he knows his stuff. Michael Carr-Greg.
ps. He asked the audience at one stage to put up their hands, if they themselves had never made a mistake as a teenager. One teacher, thinking he was being funny, did so. Carr-Greg gestured to him and said, "There's always one IDIOT in every audience".