Archive for the ‘new school year’ Category

A New School Year

August 22, 2011

Note:  I could be a little unconventional in the classroom when I was teaching.  I worried that one day I would push my luck too far and manage to get my name in the papers for all the wrong reasons.  I do want to thank all the students I had who let me get away with it (though I still wonder what some of you said behind my back!)  Anyway, I’m going to try to NOT push any limits here.  (I hope the parents out there who read this will appreciate that.)

A new school year is starting in my former district tomorrow.  I’m sure that there are some things you guys (that’s you students) are looking forward to; seeing old friends, getting to wake up early, riding a bus, and of course eating those wonderful school lunches.  You can also look forward to locker combinations that don’t work, carrying 20 lbs. of books and supplies around until your locker combinations do work, putting up with all those first days of school rituals, getting textbooks that are potentially big and scary, and meeting teachers whose sole purpose seems to be to make your life miserable for the next school year.  Oh, and I almost forgot, homework, tests, grades, presentations, and a host of other work.

So I’m trying to be a little funny.  Give me a break.

The thing is, school is a big part of what shapes you, and it’s up to you to make that work for you.  So, to make this simple I’m going to list a few things I think may help:

  1. First off, understand that those boring first day rituals are as big a pain in the — for the teachers as they are for you.
  2. The teachers I started out thinking were going to be the meanest usually ended up being my favorite.
  3. Eventually your locker will work and teachers truly don’t mind helping you.
  4. Most (hopefully all) teachers want you to succeed.
  5. The stranger you’re forced to sit next to could become the best friend you ever have.
  6. The stranger you’re forced to sit next to could become your next big crush.
  7. The book that looked so scary at first will (hopefully) become a lot less intimidating if not enjoyable.
  8. There’s a possibility that you might even experience some things that will make you actually want to learn more.  (Hey, I’m a teacher, I can always hope.)

School can also shape your character in ways that have nothing to do with academics.  That shaping is completely in your hands.  Here are just some of the things you can do to build that character that I’m talking about:

  1. Remember that bullies are pathetic.  A truly strong person doesn’t have to bully.  A person who really feels good about themselves would NEVER bully someone else (they don’t have to.)    If you are friends with a bully let them know just how their actions make them look.  And, if you see someone being bullied let them know that they are the better/stronger person.  STAND UP and be a part of the solution.
  2. Your classroom, desk, cafeteria, and BATHROOMS are there for you.  Don’t screw them up!  I will never understand why some of you think that f-ing with the student bathrooms is cool.  The only people who use them are you guys!  If you’ve got to go, then the last thing you want to see is a toilet with a brand new roll of toilet paper in it, (or any other large object that will prevent flushing.)  You may feel compelled to check out your own poop but seriously, forcing others to see it is just wrong.
  3. Remember that it is in your best interest to make your teachers like you.  (I may piss some adults off with this one but hey, I’m writing this for you students.)  It’s just as important, if not more so, for your teachers to like you as it is for you to like your teachers.  This is truly a good life lesson to learn.  At this time in your life, school is your JOB.  The teacher is in the role of your boss, you the employee.  Learning how to work this system will make it easier to eventually learn how to succeed in your career, or any job you eventually have.  Trust me here.  You WILL have a boss you don’t like.  You will be asked to do things at work that you think are stupid.  Learning how to get through that now is a lot less painful than when you actually are out in the real world (and the consequences are not nearly as hazardous to your wellbeing.)
  4. Finally, getting good grades will make you feel good.  Getting a good grade is like getting a raise.  It can make you feel powerful.  So, work at making good grades not just for your parents and teachers.  Do it for YOU!  Oh, and by good grades I don’t always mean A’s.  Sometimes B’s and even C’s can make you feel pretty good too.  School wouldn’t do you much good if it was all easy.

In the coming year you will experience good and bad times.  You will make new friends and you may lose some old ones (especially you girls.) You will probably fall in love at least once, and possibly get your heart broken or break a heart but don’t worry, you’ll fall in love again.  You may do some things that embarrass you but trust me, you’ll get through it.

Finally: Remember, you are only a teenager for seven short years.  You’ll be an adult for a lot longer.  Don’t screw up now and mess up all the great years you have to come.

Love you guys,
Ms. Bliz