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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

To Start Strong, Breathe. To Start Strong, Smile.

Lessons Learned

First Week Of School Lists: Overwhelming!

The days just preceding as well as just following the first day of school are filled with immensely long  lists of things needing to be accomplished. Lists of things to get, things to do, and things to remember absolutely inundate these hours and days with a frenetic sort of constricting “have to” and “hurry up”  feeling. Very, very  stressful. Whether one is a parent, a student, a teacher, an administrator, or any other school staff individual, everyone is being outrageously pressed to be ready. Each one up and down the power chain is pressing, with best of intentions but very hard, on the one just below to be really ready.  Being really ready seems to mean to have more, to be more, and to know more. More information, more supplies, and more responsibilities are among the “more” list, and in a day of diminishing budgets, increasing class sizes, and highly pressure-filled expectations from every direction pressing upon each and every individual involved in the entire educational experience, this type of  “more” is beyond stressful.  It seems getting ready, chasing down the completion of lists and lists of “more” tasks and things, is fully wrapped in stress, and unfortunately, stress is completely counterproductive to true, rich, deep, meaningful learning.  How should one prepare for school? How might one best be ready to tackle all that will need to be accomplished throughout the year, whether one is a parent, a student, a teacher, an administrator, or any other school staff individual? Might I suggest that the most productive way to be ready for a new school year is to be encouraged, to be affirmed, to be emotionally built-up with kind, positive, and strengthening words.  Chasing the endless list of chores and orders builds inner turmoil when the “one more thing” that needs to be done simply cannot, leaving one to sink into the defeating mire of frustration; just not good enough.  Defeated before the day begins, this chores and orders mentality will take us nowhere strong or creative because it will crush that spirit. Administrators, to have a great day, continually encourage your teachers and other staff and do not assume that they know they are appreciated. Teachers, to have a great day, smile, breathe, and speak kind and affirming words to your students. Parents, to have a great day, remind your children/students that you love them, that you are proud of them, and that you know it’s going to be a great day for them.  Students, to have a great day, listen to your teacher, be kind to your classmates, and do your best. You see, great days have less to do with what we have and much, much  more to do with who we are and what we have been encouraged to believe we can be.  “Often in daily living, the things we need to hear and say; get lost in chores and orders, then time brushes them away.” Be an encourager, and start the school year with great strength.