How to Maximize Student Success This School Year

Some young people know exactly what they want to be or do when they grow up. In so doing, they identify goals they may work towards for years. But many students can’t imagine life that far down the road. They have plenty of challenges in the here and now!

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Regardless of which category your students fall in, four do–able steps can help arrange order out of student chaos. You will note that each reinforces healthy self–discipline and constructive life habits. They collectively set up cumulative win–wins. They also provide opportunity for the school to partner with parents on obtainable goals.

Open Doors for Your Students

One spring I offered to teach a group of students a Creative Writing course. Some of my students wrote about hobbies or pets.  Some of the boys wrote about their Civil War battle reenactments. Regardless of topic, each student was intrigued by the course’s end product––an actual printed and bound book, authored by them! The students then entered their finished books in our state fair. They were delighted when most were awarded either blue or red ribbons.

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My girls had been just 12 and 10 when we left public education. As we prepared for our new type of learning, we happened upon what we felt was a brilliant idea! As a business owner/operator, I recognized the value of an adult’s work résumé. We then reasoned, why not have the girls create a similar educational résumé? Soon, with appropriate modifications, we were doing exactly that.

Living With the End in Mind

As summer begins to draw to a close, signs of back–to–school are in all the usual places. Commercials and sale fliers advertise everything imaginable for you to fulfill your role as student. Shopping for new clothes and school supplies can be great fun. So, enjoy it! But while you do, consider that you are investing in lots of things that, this time next year, will simply be old and worn.

© 2011 Andrew Hurley. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#45).

© 2011 Andrew Hurley. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#45).

So, while you’re investing in things for the outside of you, also make time to invest in the inside of you. Think . . .who will you be when you exit your school for the final time of the 2014–2015 school year? How will you be different? Will you be better? What will you be proud of? What might you regret? Now is the time to plan that day.

Mr. Franklin, Meet Watters’ World!

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government the new Americans had been given. His recorded response was “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Oh, if only Ben could be here today to view The O’Reilly Factor’s Watters’ World on the TV!

© 2013 The Bakken Museum. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#42).

© 2013 The Bakken Museum. Creative Commons. See image citations for full reference (#43).

“Watters” is ace reporter Jesse Watters. He tours the country interviewing random “people on the street.” His segment is then featured by host Bill O’Reilly. Jesse’s topics range from historical facts to current news. Recent highlights include priceless responses regarding the president’s approval rating and student debt.