By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO —
Are we commemorating a Happy New School Year with a new commitment to help our children become the very best that they can be? A new school year should mean new resolves for our children.
For most of us adults, January marks the New Year, the time of new beginnings, eager anticipation and renewed resolve to be, and to do, better than before. To improve and progress in those areas near and dear to us.
We celebrate and commemorate this opportunity for new and renewed beginnings in notable ways. Year after year, like clockwork.
It probably has never occurred to us that our children, depending on their age and eligibility to participate in the revelry, probably wonder what all of the fuss is about, particularly our kindergartners, grade school, and middle school children.
But they have a “New Year” too, with all the elements of great anticipation, excitement, anxiety – their new school year.
Many kids, like adults, approach their new year with eagerness, and some with trepidation, about beginning another year of learning in new classrooms with new books and learning materials, with new friends, new teachers.
While many are too young to understand all this resolution business, most of our children have their desires and goals for the coming school year. They range from learning the alphabet to learning to read, from solving math problems to using the computer. Some, no doubt, aspire to have perfect attendance, write award-winning essays, join the debate team, participate in athletics, the school band.
But, more so than adults, they cannot achieve their goals alone.
That is where we come in. While children may not understand the full impact and tradition around resolving to do better and achieve more at the beginning of a new year, we do.
Now, is the time, at the beginning of the school year, to get involved to make a difference in a child’s life. We need to be asking our children and their schools, during the first weeks of school, what role we can play to improve and positively impact the learning experience in and outside the classroom.
What are your resolutions this New School Year for the children in your life?
To help our children become productive students in their school environment, good citizens in their communities, cities, and eventually able to compete on the world stage begins grade one, day one.
They are counting on us.