Happy New Year!
For some people, it's the most wonderful time of the year (please don't blame me later when that song keeps playing in your head!), while others want to run and hide. You know who you are!
I'll guess that it's a little bit of both for most people.
I say Happy New Year because the start of a new school year always signals that it is time for a new beginning. Let's tag the happy part on for good measure.
After two years of torture and debate on what to do with students, what wasn't done with students, and how to fix it, it's time to jump back in and return to educating.
In a recent article from the Associated Press titled" 'I didn't really learn anything': COVID grads face college," from August 9, 2022, a harrowing realization was stated. Students are commenting now that they feel like they didn't learn during the pandemic and fell behind academically, placing them in an educational deficit. By now, we have heard this on repeat. However, the reality of this situation is that students are suffering. Students know they lost a large portion of their education and can't reclaim it.
I've heard first-hand from students and parents how frustrated and upset they are. Comments such as, "I don't know what to do?" "Is this normal?" "How do I fix this?" "Where do I begin?" are common questions that I hear daily. And while there is no right or wrong answer, there are steps that you can take. Taking action is the only way to make progress!
Since we can't go back, the big question is, how do we move forward?
The students who are off to college this year or are perhaps one year in need support.
All is not lost! If you have a college student who feels lost, encourage them to work on their skills and seek help!
Here are a few tips:
1. Don't wait until mid-terms to realize you need assistance.
2. Find resources and use them.
3. Set up standing appointments with tutors and academic coaches.
4. Don't panic when you feel overwhelmed. Pause. Talk about it and think about solutions.
So, what does this mean for the students in grades 7-12?
I believe that these students have an opportunity to prepare and prevent this from happening to them. The big question is how?
This new school year, there are some unavoidable truths:
1. Students suffered mentally, physically, emotionally, and academically.
2. We are only beginning to see the effects of how this harmed kids.
3. We can't keep playing the blame game because it isn't going to fix the crisis we are facing.
4. It's time to start talking about solutions.
Here are my solutions for the start of the new school year:
1. Start on the right foot by preparing.
2. If you do not know where to start, ask for help.
3. Parents, if you are unsure what your student needs, then contact someone such as Educated Athlete (shameless
plug! 😊 ) for a consultation and feedback.
4. Put mechanisms in place that encourage success. For example, create a consistent schedule that promotes structure and discipline. This is where success begins!
5. Parents check in regularly with your student-athlete to see what is happening at school.
6. Ask questions.
7. Student-athletes, share what's going on at school. Talk about your stress, worries, and if you feel overwhelmed.
8. This is not the time to try to carry the load yourself. Everyone understands the challenges you are facing. Talk so that you can receive the help you need.
The stress, fear, worry, and anticipation of this new school year are weighing heavily on many.
But the key here is to enter this year with a plan and the goal to be prepared. Start in the right direction and with the mindset to stay focused. Never shy away from seeking help and guidance as needed. The resources are out there, and sometimes, it's just a matter of asking.
Also, don't try to take on everything at once. Take things step by step and give yourself some breathing room!
Keep this quote in mind: "Action is the foundational key to all success." —Pablo Picasso
Remember that taking action comes in the form of small steps, asking questions, and seeking help when needed!
Check back for Part 2 of this Back-to-School blog post…
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