You’re tan (or maybe just sunburnt), golden streaks in your hair, feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. Well, really just another school year, but it feels like the world sometimes, am I right? Now I guess I wouldn’t really know…my son is all of 1.5 years old. I probably seem like a terribly unqualified candidate for giving advice on the new school year, but I promise, I have an insider’s perspective; a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a teacher. I know the ins-and-outs of this whole “New School Year” insanity like the back of my hand (Do people really look at the backs of their hands that often? I feel like I’ve been missing out on something…). So, with my unique viewpoint in mind, I want to give you a list of 5 things you need to know for success this upcoming school year.
5 Things You Need to Know for Success This Upcoming School Year
- If you decide to surprise your child’s teacher with a pop-in visit before the new year begins, please fully expect to walk into a classroom that may or may not look like a tornado just swirled through it. And a teacher that likely looks like she was caught in that same tornado. Maybe just send a quick e-mail or call to warn her that you’ll be stopping by. That’s way less scary for everyone involved.
- Imagine your child’s teacher saying this to you: “Only believe half of what your child says about me, and I’ll promise to only believe half of what he says about you.” Let that sink in. You’re welcome.
- If your child’s teacher sends out some sort of daily/weekly/monthly communication, for goodness’ sake, please read it. Be aware of what is going on at your child’s home-away-from-home, even if the only time you have to look over it is while you’re sitting on the toilet (I totally get it. That is now one of the only locations where I find semi-peace and quiet). And don’t even get me started on Back to School Night. It should be a priority on your calendar, and if you absolutely cannot be there, please be sure to ask for and read over the information that was discussed that evening.
- Allow your child to fail. I can not stress this enough. Now obviously this will look completely different depending on the age of your child, but I promise, there is so much good that comes from overcoming something difficult. Perseverance and persistence are crucial traits for children to acquire to be successful in life, and all too often we are the only ones standing in the way of them developing these character traits. Suppress the urge to always pick up the pieces for your child, and instead show love and encouragement through allowing her to work through the issue and come away having learned an extremely valuable lesson.
- Grace. Head into this new year with that word stamped on your mind and painted across your heart. Grace for yourself, grace for your child, and grace for your child’s educator and administrators. We all make mistakes. Let’s strive to be a little more gracious toward one another.
Now load up those backpacks with that obnoxiously long list of school supplies, and send your little ones on their merry way. And just know, it’s inevitable that you’ll realize it’s dress up day at school only after arriving to see everyone’s child in costume but yours. You’ll forget to sign that dumb Friday folder once or twice (a month). You’ll pull into the driveway after drop-offs only to find your kiddo’s lunchbox in the backseat. But it’s all okay. No one’s keeping score, and you shouldn’t be, either.
So go forth and absolutely rock this school year knowing there’s only one thing that you can be sure of: it’s going to fly by, so cherish each crazy, messy, annoying, frustrating, beautiful moment.