10 Fail-Safe Tips For A Great School Year
“Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.” – Jack Handy
The school year is in full swing for most of the country, and I thought it would be helpful to memorialize some tried and true advice that’s helped families survive for generations. These are the ideals kids must strive for and the principles parents embrace as gospel.
Of course, I’m not saying these are the ONLY truisms; there are, undoubtedly, more to the list. But kids, if you observe these points, you’ll be well on your way to a fantastic year!
1. Do as we say, not as we do.
Sure, we’ll skip breakfast and power through the morning on nothing but a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, but YOU can’t do that. Eat your breakfast and give your parents a few minutes of peace by NOT asking for a “breakfast dessert” or by making groaning sounds that you’re too tired. We’re all tired. Just eat your eggs.
2. Find links between what you LIKE to do and what you MUST do.
The “puppy” goes to the bus NOT because we need an additional personality to manage, but because wherever he goes, you’ll happily follow. The principle works at school too. If you want to see the playground at recess, you should focus on finishing your work in the classroom. If you pay attention, you’ll see those decisions are linked.
3. Stick with your siblings.
You won’t always like your brother or sister at home, but you NEED the advocate on the bus, the playground, and in life. Forget about the borrowed/broken swim goggles or the disagreement about whose turn it is to feed the dog; at school you hang together.
4. Suck up to the bus driver.
Your bus driver can be your best friend or your worst enemy. He is the guy who’ll wait for you when you’re running late (or not) or jump into the fray when there’s a problem with a Fifth grader (or not). If you’re smart, you’ll do everything in your power to keep the guy behind the wheel (the fabulous Mr. Bobby) happy. This means say “thank you” more than you think is necessary, saying “Sir” whenever you speak to him (we live in the South after all), and don’t even THINK about eating on the bus.
5. Read as though your life depends on it.
The faster you embrace reading as a way of life, the quicker we’ll all be happy. So grab a friend, bring your doll and settle into a lifetime of reading. Nancy Drew and/or Captain Underpants awaits…
6. Be sweet to your teachers.
Of course, you should be sweet to EVERYONE you meet, but if you are running low on listening skills and you have to selectively parcel out your kindness, prioritize people thus: bus driver, teacher, baby sitter, IT support. Since you don’t yet own electronics, focus on the first three on the list and you’ll be in decent shape.
7. Be present and pay attention.
Showing up is more than half the battle in life in general, and in school in particular. Daydream on the bus. Get your energy out during recess. But when your teacher is talking, she’s not speaking because she likes the sound of her voice; she wants you learn from what she’s saying!! At least give her the courtesy of keeping your head in the classroom!!
8. Parents have your back.
No matter what evidence you can site to the contrary, we want you to have a great experience in school. We are always here to cheer you on. Sure, that may look like pestering and feel like a ceaseless string of demands, but that’s a parent’s job. Seriously. When we checked out of the hospital with you, the doctors made us sign papers that we would bug you about homework, make you practice your times tables, and demand that you have neat handwriting.
I know, you’re too big for napping, but your attitude says something different. Maybe you’re “hangry” or maybe you need downtime. Whatever the case, for the sake of our evening sanity, grab something to eat or take a nap. We’ll all be better at coping when you’re not so tired.
And finally, the most important survival tip of all –
10. Wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.
There’s nothing worse than being that one kid wearing red on St. Patrick’s day. If you wear orange, parents might understand the “political statement,” but you’ll still get pinched. This year is tricky since March 17th is on a Sunday, so you’ll need to wear green on Friday, March 15th. I’m terrible about remembering this, so please help remind me. We’d hate to kill a whole school year due to my negligence!
What tips have I missed?? Do tell!!