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Start School in the Right Spirit
Posted by Brittany on August 28, 2012 09:59 Article Rating

Feeling anxious about the first day back to school? As a parent, teacher, or student, it’s absolutely normal to still get the first-day jitters. For anyone, especially our younger learners, entering an unfamiliar room filled with new faces, fresh ideas, and different routines can be intimidating. Each child has a different level of comfort with new beginnings, but parents and teachers can help their children and families overcome the added stress associated with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, scheduling, and thorny relationships. 

How? A successful school year for our children begins with us! We must model the teachings of Christ by sharing his love, patience, and understanding with each child. Children are quick to imitate anxiety, so remaining optimistic and calm is essential.

     The following are three central reminders to help ease our return and guide us as the year unfolds.

     God created each child to be unique. Encourage each child’s special gifts but avoid causing stress and setting unrealistic expectations. Today the pressures of society on our children are immeasurable. Parents and teachers can sometimes be led to believe that their children must have perfect scores on their report cards, be involved in after-school activities five days a week, and have the confidence and attitude of an adult. If this was our Lord’s plan, he probably would have created robots, not humans!

     Encourage your children to work to their fullest potential. Let your words and actions communicate to them that by doing their very best, they are glorifying God. Chances are your children will feel more confident in the future and your love and support will be clear.

     Education is a mutual partnership. It takes collaboration and teamwork to educate a child. This partnership is among parents, teachers, principals, and students. To ensure the best interest of your children, all stakeholders must respond patiently and respectfully. When parents, teachers, and students insult or act disrespectfully toward one another, it damages God’s holy work.   

     When it is time to share your thoughts, do so respectfully. If you have a concern, don’t jump to conclusions. Take time to think before responding. Don’t forget, our children model our actions!  

     Manage time wisely. Take time to organize yourself and your family. Be sure to set routines in your home and work diligently to follow a realistic schedule with firm rules. If your 5th grade daughter is still working on homework each night at 9:00 pm, maybe it’s not the amount of assigned work but the time she gets started or the fact that she’s allowed to send texts while working. Set your priorities and remain firm. Children will grow to understand what’s most valuable if you are consistently reinforcing the same values each day.

A balanced schedule is essential for maintaining a healthy home and classroom environment. Time for prayer, family, reading, sleep, and free play should remain top priorities.

Happy school year 2012!

Dr. Stephen Brown is the principal of Mary, Help of Christians School in Parkland, Florida.

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