The new school year is upon us and students no doubt are a mix of emotions heading back. For some, it’s their familiar stomping grounds. They already know what it’s like and what to expect. For others, it’s going to be a whole new world that they must get accustomed to. And while adults will tell children they should be happy because they don’t have “real world” problems, the fact remains that children do in fact have to deal with some serious issues, from peer pressure and bullying, to grades and other academic issues. So in the interest of supporting our children, here are some pieces of advice that we hope will help.
Parents, you need to become involved in your child’s school life. And not by confronting or threatening teachers when your child gets in trouble. Ask them about their day. See if they have homework to do and try to help if you can. This bit of interest shows your child that you care, and that their education is a serious matter. It will also lay the groundwork for a better relationship, one that could allow your child to approach you about problems at school. And finally, and we can’t stress this enough, get to know your child’s teachers. Being in touch with them will allow you to learn more about your child’s progress.
Teachers, while it is easy sometimes to get upset over troublesome students, please keep in mind that acting out could be a manifestation of stressors. And while some students make show little interest in schoolwork, never stop trying to get through to them. Many of us can look back at our school days and single out a teacher that made a difference, who refused to allow them to slide into delinquency. Your influence really is more powerful than you know, even if you don’t realize it. Teaching can be a thankless job sometimes, but its importance is unmatched.
And finally, students. All of you will at some time be stressed out with school. There’s the academics, the load of which grows every year. The important thing is to manage your workload. Doing a little everyday will keep things from piling up. Study time tables may sound corny, especially since the academic year has now begun, but it really will allow you to manage your time, and keep you abreast in all your subjects. That way when exams roll around, there isn’t as much to do all at once. Extra-curricular activates are also important, especially for mental health, since taking the time to do something you like will help ease your mind.
Then, there’s the social minefield, especially for teenagers. There is a lot of pressure to be liked and fit in. But, you do know right from wrong while it may feel as if doing certain things will earn acceptance, ask yourself if the people doing the accepting are worth it. Some people will always be mean and while it may seem as if some things will never get better, please remember that school is just one phase of your entire life. Don’t let that one phase ruin the rest of what is to come. And don’t ever forget to have some empathy for your fellow students. Not everyone will have a good home with nice things. Try to help others instead of mocking them.
Have a great first day of school!