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3 Steps to a Successful School-Year

Boy, has the summer flown by! Too fast for us educators, and I’m sure not fast enough for a lot of parents!  With the approach of another school year, there are some key steps that you should take in order to ensure a successful school year: 

 1.        Start Early!  With the first day of school quickly approaching please start to get your child back to the “school-year” routine.  Begin to reinforce those earlier bed times to ensure that your child is not that kid struggling to stay awake once that first day full of learning appears.  As an educator, I know that instruction begins on day 1, and the biggest struggle during the first two weeks of school is keeping all those sleepy-heads awake.  

 2.       Make Your Presence Known From Day 1!  Although the first day of school will be hectic for everyone involved (parents, students, and the teacher).  You must find a way to introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and begin a working relationship with him or her.  A really cool and easy way to do that is by sending a small note with your child the first day of school that introduces yourself, provides your contact information, and maybe a concern and a goal you have for your child this school year.  This cuts down on the traffic within the classroom on the first day, but also gives the teacher an opportunity to get to know you and your child.  It will also help build that ever important working relationship.    

 3.       Routine, Routine, Routine!  Make a routine and stick with it.  Being both a parent and a teacher, I understand the importance of structure and routine.  Set a morning routine to help prepare for school, this may include dressing themselves for younger kids or walking the dog for older children.  Also set an afternoon routine for immediately after school. These activities should include completing homework and any household chores before other activities.  Finally, find an evening routine, including activities like making their lunch for the next day, brushing their teeth, and getting to bed on time.  Believe it or not children love structure, and by setting routines this will set clear expectations for everyone involved.  To hold your child accountable for following those routines, consider creating a simple chart with their daily tasks.  Reward them with a sticker or a check mark for each task that is completed.  At the end of the week, count up their stickers or check marks and give them a more tangible reward (i.e. an extra snack for 5 stickers or extra TV/Game time for 20 stickers).  Modifications can be made to the chart for older children by having them complete a spreadsheet of their daily responsibilities.  Have them keep track of their progress in order to help them become self-starters, and provide them with age-appropriate rewards.

There are only a few short weeks left before our children are back into the classroom for the next ten months.  Follow these three easy steps for children of all ages to ensure a smooth and productive school year!

Makia R
Experienced Elementary School Teacher
Bowie State University
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