7 Things Teachers Wish Students Knew Before Going Back to School

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Back-to-school season is here. (Getty Images)

Whether you’re snapping your little one’s pencil case shut or hoisting junior’s college gear into the trunk, that time of year has come again. 

While buying brand-new school supplies may be exhilarating, preparing your young learner for a new classroom can be a challenge. 

Here are seven things Long Island teachers hope students know before returning to school in September.

  1. “Go into the year with a positive attitude and a smile on your face, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a great start to the school year.” – Susan Mannix,  Fifth Grade, Washington Street School, Franklin Square.

Maintaining a positive attitude can actually help students solve problems and improve their ability to learn. It is an important component of stress management. The most successful students in the long term are those who can look on the bright side, even when they face setbacks or failures. A positive attitude can also boost their immune system and sense of well-being. 

  1. “Knowing where to find support, how to access resources, and how to manage time successfully are some of the most important aspects of successful adjustment to college life.” – Audrey Cohen, Molloy College, Rockville Centre.

Prioritizing one’s workload, getting enough rest, and applying awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses are essential for a productive college experience. Students will need to be proactive about advocating for themselves, find out about tutoring services that are available, and make appointments in advance to enhance their schoolwork rather than using these appointments to avoid failure.

  1. “Students need to know the importance of kindness, respect, and acceptance.” – Luann Fabietti, Pre-K, private special educational school, Syosset.

Teach your child to use kind words and respect the personal space of others, and set an example of this at home. This kind of behavior will be rewarded by reciprocal respect from teachers and peers.

  1. “College students should expect their schedules to be challenging for the first year or so.” – Diane Herbert, Hofstra University, Hempstead.

Even strong students entering their freshman year should expect a big adjustment. “Some classes meet for 50 or 90 minutes,” says Herbert, “and there are also bigger chunks of time in between classes. It is very important to learn how to make good use of this time. Often, good old-fashioned calendaring can go a long way toward helping students prepare for assignments that are not for another six weeks.”

  1. “Outdoor play and socialization is so important in the summer.” – Danielle Reynolds, Learning Specialist, Portledge School, Locust Valley.

Kids are used to being entertained often, but it’s important to remember that our kids desperately require unstructured time playing with other children. Little ones will learn to make up their own games, create rules, and problem solve. Your child will learn to plan and negotiate in a fun, stimulating environment with a little outdoor free time. And while you shouldn’t forget the sunblock, exposure to the sun’s vitamin D can improve your child’s mood, sleep, and immune system.

  1. “You are the company you keep! Choose your friends wisely.” – Renee Gannon, Physical Education, Bethpage High School

It is important for kids to choose friends who have similar values. For example, disciplined friends can help students to increase their determination. They can influence their decisions about their use of time or money. Students whose friends are trustworthy and respectful will have an easier path through life. Even into adulthood, it is those with a circle of dependable friends who are healthier and live longer.

7. “You get out what you put in. Students don’t get grades from professors. They earn them.” – Sarah Eltabib, Adelphi University, Garden City.

Many students learn the hard way that a college grade cannot be earned simply by getting the teacher to like them. And parents cannot advocate for them if they are unhappy. Applying serious close reading and note-taking skills in college will take young adults far in life. Remember that their syllabus is a contract with the professor. If your junior pupil notices something confusing, the prof will appreciate an email to clarify any miscommunications before it is too late.

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