Did You Start the New School Year Right?

If you didn’t start the school year right t’s never too late to gear up for a successful school year! So, as the first school quota gets closer to an end, start the second quota of school geared up for a new learning spirit!! Now is the time to spice up the second quota of the school year learning marathon with a strong and positive vibe.

Here are 12 top things you need to do:

Teamwork

Getting to know your teachers and your peers! So, to make transition smooth for parents and their children become your child’s partner in their learning by making it a habit to have learning time together and get to know and do school stuff together. Making an effort to know your child’s teachers is part of the teamwork. It helps you and your child gain some sense of familiarity. Encourage your child to team up with his or her peers in the neighborhoods they live or in the schools they attend to form study groups early on and take learning serious. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in raising every time we fail”. Studying with your buddies/peers is more likely to inspire and lift you up. Mentor one another and share knowledge. One mentor can make a difference-could be your parent, your friend, or your librarian.

Be Courageous

Ready, set, goal! With courage, you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be passionate about your learning, and the wisdom to try and keep trying until you get it right or where you want to be. When we are in our comfort zone things happens-we become courageous, we develop curiosity, we explore and discover things and ourselves; and we build-in positive experiences. So, step up and try! Start small and finish big. Be your own advocate of your destiny. Knowing what you thrive for gives you the courage to go chase your dream-whatever dream you might have-getting straight A’s, become a Cheer leader, or attend the college of your choice! With courage you will dare to take a try and have the strength to be passionate about your school and your learning; and the wisdom to keep trying if you have to until you get the results you desire. Courage is the foundation of integrity and integrity is the quality of being honest or truthful and having strong moral principles in what you believe.

Build Enthusiasm

Where there is a will, there is a way, and the opportunity for enthusiasm. School rock! Plan your study daily, weekly, monthly, and for the year with the help of your teachers, your parents, your peers, your mentors, or your librarians-make this year a learning year, from scholastic classic reading tales, to Penguin’s paperbacks; gear up for STEM skills and explore cool projects and discover your creativity; or try digital learning to supplement your everyday learning. Train the brain and rediscover the whole new way of learning! Make the most of after school time to work on what is holding you back! Become a smart kid and super parents who make the teachers talk about you the whole year! Everyday bring your enthusiasm to your studies and make learning part of your daily activities. It is exciting to enter the new grade level ready and with confidence that prepare you for a new good academic year.

Dare to Dream

Remember, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. If you want to become a scientist for example, take science classes seriously and go beyond that-take interests in sciences and scientific world. Does your child’s school see his or her potential? Tutor time counts and matters! If you child wants to expand their interests or solidify their existing passion for learning, you will be sure to find enrichment programs to fit their curiosity and interests. Introducing enrichment programs to your child can make a difference between success and failure. A good tutor builds student’s confidence and inspires them. How do you know if a tutor could help your child: teacher or counselor recommendations, homework increasingly becomes difficult, struggled / increased anxiety toward school work; and or loss interest and resistance to doing school work. So, how does tutoring help: provides personalized attention, customized to student’s needs, provides review of skills missed during class, help increases student motivation and improves self-confidence; and encourages independence and self-directed learning. Give your child a chance to succeed in school by affording him or her rich learning opportunities through enrichment programs.

Embrace Change

Whether is a new school, new teachers, new friends or new grade level, changes are part of life. Get prepared to embrace or make connection with these changes to reestablish friendships and catching ups. Take it as a great opportunity to meet all these new things and people to get acquitted, it does wonders to everyone when you reconnect and form friendships. Don’t get comfortable with the status quo. Remember, “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies you the right to grow”. Speak out for help! Find out what resources available you can take advantage off to change situations-change the unfavorable scores to favorable scores, change from struggling with learning to thriving with learning, or change from being a passive learner to an active learner.

Set Goals

Start with the small steps and progress to bigger steps. Setting goals and plans on how to achieve your desired goals is the beginning stage of progress. Any progress achieved is a result of your initiatives, your determination, commitment and hard work. If there is no hard work, there is no progress! For the love of learning, supporting your child’s learning is a solid investment with a lifetime dividend. Parents and teachers’ goal is to prepare students to excel as young learners and intellectual leaders of tomorrow. Set small steps one at a time and you will get big rewards. Forming connections with your teachers, successful working relationships between teacher and students; and parents and schools is like a good marriage. When teachers connect with their students they experience cooperation, genuine and positive interactions which influence the way students feel about school and learning. Teamwork between teachers, parents and students can maximize the strength of the parties involved and create positive education potential for the students. Learning with purpose, staying in the present addressing one current issue at a time, rather than revisit the past, pass judgment or blame; instead focus and aim for the progress you want to see in your student’s learning and beyond.

Be Optimistic

In all you do find an opportunity to better your chances! Remember, the pessimist sees difficulties in every opportunity while the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Keep focus on active learning, active participation, and positive contribution. Practice positive rituals help to increase harmony in the classroom or at home and reduce stress-make a brief positive affirmation or chant, for example, you can chant, “Together we can. We are family, we are happy, we are helpful and kind. We are caring friends, etc. Students love to repeat the teachers/adults’ words, and it brings the feelings of belonging and connection. Learning opportunities happen everywhere and anytime if you pay attention.

Active Participation

Show up and become an active learner and extend your ability and creativity by helping the passive or the struggling peer. Share positive comments with teachers, peers and parents in the classroom and outside the classroom. Practice active listening by giving full attention to your teachers and classmates. Take time to share lessons you have learned with others in school or at home. Both teachers and peers will appreciate your willingness and contribution to the class. The goal is to understand each other especially during classroom sessions and recognize that school is a place for learning and growth. Communicate positively and effectively with teachers and peers. Know and follow the school and classroom rules-rules for participation, sharing, homework, discipline, responsibility, etc. The unselfish effort to help and uplift others, not only build strong friendships and cheer to others, but also brings joy and pride in ourselves. When you are generous to others, it brings happiness in our lives. There in the crowd, is a friend-short, tall, young; and or old-friends come in all shapes and sizes. Value friendship through participation and reach out!

Focus on Trust

Trust is the first chapter in the book of knowledge. Trusting your learning journey is part of building a stronger you and good relationships between students, teachers and parents-students should be honest and trust their teachers interests in their learning, and so as parents should develop trust with schools and the teachers. Parents are partners in the process of teaching children. Honest, good, and effective communication between schools and parents is crucial and serves as a bridge that allows smooth passage between teachers and students. Honesty builds trust. Two-way communications and two-way feedback build trust. We all have expectations from our children; however, both parents and teachers should keep these expectations from their students realistic especially during the beginning months of the new school year. Show confidence in them and let your students know that you trust their ability to cope, ability to learn and succeed. Remind them of the other challenges they have faced in the past but persevered.

Bring Leadership

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember, involve me and I understand”. Parents and teachers play a leading role in helping students cope with the back-to-school worries. Major transitions can cause feelings of insecurity and anxiety on how they are going to master their new environment even if is a returning student! New routines matter, and they come embedded with emotions-so do not underestimate or overestimate things that might come from this new experience for your student and you! Some worries are not obvious to parents or teachers, especially the beginning moths of new school year; that is why parents and teachers need to take a lead in acknowledging and understanding this transitioning period as a difficult time for students and lower their expectations during the first two months of starting school. Listen tentatively and respond empathetically while focusing on your student’s real concern. Don’t just tell them, “Don’t worry”, “You will be fine. “It just a new school”, etc. If a student is starting a new school, take a lead in finding and making contacts with students who have been there before or who is going to the same school and lives in the same neighborhoods. Fears of the unknown can be eliminated with student-to-student connection.

Make Efforts

Remember, “No dreamer is ever too small; nor dream is ever too big”. Explore your talents and stretch your boundaries! By empowering students to see their potential can help them to endure values of school and learning for bright future. It’s important for both parents and student to make efforts to initiate good relationships with teachers and schools. Teachers understanding of your student and advice they share can be extremely helpful to your parenting and potential to your student’s learning and growth. Help student focus on the positive things they like about school and learning and list things that will help them achieve success in their learning and beyond. Keep their extracurricular activities manageable and avoid over scheduling especially during the first months of school as it can overwhelm you both and make the situation tenser. You both need time to unwind and reflect during the transitioning to new school year. Afterwards, take the ownership of the learning process, and you and your child’s own efforts and independent initiatives will be fostered and nurtured by teachers and schools as it is their interests too to see your child succeed!

Aim for Success

Enjoy the ride! “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it”. As students explore their world, support them by giving them happier, healthier, and well-rounded foundation as possible to support their learning and future success, i.e. parents and teachers are an important force in preparing students for school and for future life. To achieve success from the start to the finish, parents and teachers must engage their students every day because learning is achieved by cultivating curiosity, creativity, courage and commitment; paying attention to important things; focusing on learning something daily and keep the hard work of maintaining the routines. Parents’ involvement in their children’s daily learning and engagements are the key to unlock their children’s full-potential. Every student matters, outcome matters regardless of race, gender, religion, or socioeconomic background. Success demands the closing of all gaps and the creation and maximization of futures opportunities for students, teachers and schools. A happy student is a happy parent, and a success school!

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I am an educator. I am a woman. I am a parent. I am passionate about teaching and learning things that made us whole and great!

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Adveline Minja

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I am an educator. I am a woman. I am a parent. I am passionate about teaching and learning things that made us whole and great!

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