Just Take It One Day at a Time

one dayLet’s be honest. Not all of us want to go back to school. Sure, the new supplies make it a little more fun and seeing our friends everyday is a big added bonus but, all in all, the lazy days of summer are much more appealing than the structured confines of the classroom.

Students: I get it. You are not alone. Even teachers have a hard time going back to school.

Transitions are challenging. Nerves set in and our minds start wonder, “Will this year be better or worse than last? Who will I sit with at lunch? What if I just don’t get algebra?”

That’s why this year my classroom theme is: Just Take it One Day at a Time.

Whew. Just saying those words – speaking them into existence – helps calm me down. See, teachers worry too: What if I can’t reach every student? What if this classroom is not the right fit for me? What if the lesson I planned is not perfect and my students refuse to do it? What if I’m just not a good enough teacher?

The wonder of the ‘what-ifs’ can send anyone down a shameful spiral of negativity and fear. It’s okay to be afraid of the unknown; it’s a natural reaction to newness and change. I think the key is to take that fear and flip it into excitement.

It may be a just a trick-of-the-mind or a-flip-of-the-switch — a small change in wording, however, can lead to a big change in outlook.

Students, Teachers, Parents: Your job this year is to Just Take It One Day at a Time.

I’m certainly going to try.


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Terry Tutors Specialized Education Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit with a focus on providing wraparound academic, behavior and advocacy support services for struggling students in southern California. Learn More at TerryTutors.com

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To the Kid who Doesn’t Want to go Back to School

I hear ya! I’m not a fan of early mornings or homework either.

But when it comes down to it, school is not about the bell schedules or even the grades.

‘Um, what!?’, you gasp.

 

School is a Microcosm of Our Society

Your school represents a small city, a way of learning how to navigate the bigger world around us. Social norms (standing in line, pleasantries, forming groups) are learned behaviors. The ability to challenge yourself and challenge others is a skill, one that school is helping you learn. This Social-Emotional Learning piece of becoming a well-rounded adult in our society is at the heart of your six-hour school day.

Think about public schools, charter schools, independent schools, home school, self-instruction, and private tutors — these all present a different way to learn the material. There are so many ways to learn and so many teaching styles to learn from. It’s why even the state allows parents to choose the way they want their children taught and who to teach them.

Going to School is Really about Self-Discovery

Going to School is more than just learning math and reading and then taking a test to see how well you understood those subjects (or, in reality, how well you take a test).

Going to School is about expression, social norms, working together, developing your EQ (Emotional Quotient), challenging yourself, challenging others to see a concept in a new way, inspiration, inspiring others, grit – seeing failure not as the end but, rather, as part of your success story, discovering new talents, fostering independence, and using education as a ticket to stability and security.

You can learn anything from any book. Heck, you can learn anything from YouTube!

But going to school allows you to learn about yourself.

So I get it. There are lots of not-so-great things about going to school. But I urge you to consider looking at school in this new way. It can be an adventure, a journey of self-discovery. And who knows what you may find during that quest.


Keep up with the latest blogs, thoughts and resources. Follow us on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube

Terry Tutors Specialized Education Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational nonprofit providing wraparound academic, behavior and advocacy support services for struggling students in southern California. Learn More at TerryTutors.com

Preparation Takes Away The Frustration

Get-Organized-School-0612As I stared at my supply closet today I realized drastic cleanup measures were needed! It seemed like this summer all the composition books, chapter books, pencil cases, poster board, binders, glue sticks, index cards, rulers, pencils, pens, planners, paperclips, highlighters, erasers, folders, notebooks, and one random science fair trifold just exploded everywhere. Where did all this stuff come from? Well, these are just a few of the many supplies found in the closet of a very busy Tutor 🙂 These could have also been easily found in your own home school supply closet. It’s easy to make and saves you ton of frustration over those last minute forgettable items.

Preparing to Deal with Back to School Anticipation

Back to School time presents its own challenges, namely getting back into the school routine with early morning school bells and evenings full of sports, dance lessons, music lessons, tutoring, and homework. One of the best ways to deal with that anticipation, however, is to adequately prepare. The key to eliminating frustration is none other than that boring, old staple: predictability. Now, I know that doesn’t sound too exciting but when it’s 6:45 am and your child forgot to tell you that they needed to get a protractor for today’s lesson, you’ll be able to calmly reach into your own school supply closet instead of being the first person in line at Office Max that day.

Give Your Child a Sense of Internal Calm

Thinking ahead and anticipating what to expect not only takes away the frustration (and subsequent argument that may ensue as a result) but also gives children a sense of internal calm. Schedules, routines, and knowing what comes next allows a child to feel safe because they know that their caregiver has everything under control.

Teach Them Executive Function Skills

By teaching the art of preparation and leading by example, you’re also helping your child develop the necessary Executive Function Skills: prioritization, organization, strategizing, logic, time management. These are skills your child will not only use as the foundation for good study habits throughout their academic career but also throughout their chosen professional career.

Don’t Spend A Lot of Money

Stocking up on those school supplies doesn’t have to cost as much as Ivy League tuition. Here are a few of my favorite school supply stores that make it easy to get prepared without spending a lot of dough:

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Christine Terry, B.A., J.D., is the Founder & Owner of Terry Tutors, a Private Tutoring, Family Coaching, and Education Advocacy service dedicated to supporting the whole student. She writes this blog as an effort to help Moms & Dads Navigate Generation Z, Honestly. Want to Know More? Head on over to TerryTutors.com