By next week, I will officially have two children in high school. As I was speaking to my youngest child about our excitement, it occurred to me that the advice one gives a high school student parallels the advice one would give a teacher before the start of the school year. It goes something like this:
I am so excited for you!
You have a fresh start. This means you get to reinvent yourself. Ask yourself, “Who do I really want to be?” and be that person. Rely on your unique strengths and talent and be authentic. Begin your year the way you want it to go. Dress the part.
Start with a smile. Be positive and open to those around you. A confident smile sets the tone.
You deserve to be here. All of your hard work has got you where you are today and you should be proud of that.
You are going to learn so much. Be open to the opportunities to learn- you may be surprised by who can teach you.
It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be hard sometimes, but hang in there. All that work will make you stronger. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept it when it is offered.
People will be mean. For reasons that, more often than not, have nothing to do with you, people will be unkind. Don’t take it personally and stand up for those who need your help. Remember that you have a network of support.
Make good choices. You are trusted and people are counting on you to do the right thing.
It’s okay to make mistakes. … as long as you accept and learn from them.
Be flexible. Things don’t always go the way you think they will. Have a backup plan.
Stay organized. The stuff you need should be neat, tidy, and readily accessible.
Keep focused. You have a job to do. Be efficient, use your time wisely and you will be able to get it done.
Get a good night’s sleep. It is so important to take care of your body. Put good things in it and give it the rest it deserves. Fall asleep visualizing all of the great things that you and the people around you will do.
You are important. You are making a difference and what you do matters.
Leave time for you. Your workload may seem insurmountable, but it is really important to make time to do the things you love. Be sure to maintain your relationships with family and peers and honor ‘me time’ for sports and hobbies.
You’ve got this! Don’t let anyone, especially yourself, tell you otherwise.
Good luck, students and teachers! It's going to be a great school year...