Ten Tips for a Great School Year: K-College

Ten Tips for a Great School Year: K-College August 13, 2017

photo-1470549638415-0a0755be0619_optSome advice is so good it works for everyone. At the  kindergarten through college program, where I work, there is a common element to being a student.  Sure the college students do not have to worry about eating crayons and the fifth grade does not need the complete Plato (yet!), but if you move from a seventh grade discussion of Phaedo to one in college, you see the commonality.

Here are ten things everyone should do:

I. Don’t take a smart phone to school if you can help it. 

Get a dumb phone that texts and calls. You will be safe and not distracted. Don’t use a computer in class unless it is essential to the class.

Take paper notes. Younger kids should work with real world objects.

II. Go outside. 

Do it. Find a school that will let you do it. Get into as much nature as you can. Garden if you can, even if it is in a box on your window sill.

III. Read as soon as you can as much as you can. 

As soon as a child learns to read, the world of ideas is open. Run into that world. Read. Read. Read. If it is a “one and done” book an e-reader/tablet can work. If it is a valuable book, read it on paper. Own it if you can. Mark up your book and make it your own. If you cannot afford this, get some paper and make a journal. Amazon sells a beautiful journal for less than ten dollars.

IV. Do activities with people as much as possible. 

Reading is great, but you can also read in a group! Find activities that get you with people especially people who are different. Find friends.

V. Respect tutors/mentors/professors/teachers as much as you can.

Find a good teacher and learn. You learn best when you go into class with an openness to the instructor. Listen. Participate. Don’t fight education. If you need to fight the system, get a new school if you possible!

VI. Be yourself, so that you can become a better self.

Respectfully disagree. Ask questions. If you do not know, ask. Realize that you are in school to change, but not into someone totally different. You will be you after a good education, just a better you. Work on knowing yourself.

VII. Have a life outside of school

Do activities with people in school and choose some different activities during all the years of formal education. For example,  you can learn an instrument in elementary school, play sports in high school, then debate in college . . . in any order you wish! Don’t get so busy you don’t have time for church, family, or just thinking. If you are programmed more than fifty hours: stop.

VIII. Have joy, but do your duty. Work hard. 

School is good for the soul, if you are in a good school, but sometimes the pleasure comes after hard work. Do not be afraid to push through the pain to get to the pleasure!

IX. Make a few good friends. Do not worry about everyone liking you.

We do not have time for many relationships. Find the wingman you need and be loyal. Get a few good friends and keep them close as long as you can.

X. Learn a second or even a third language as soon as you can.

If you are in kindergarten, hope your parents start you on this road. If you are in college, take a language. You cannot bluff knowing a language and it will help almost every area of your life. New words give you new vantage points and new ideas.

Browse Our Archives