It is getting closer to the start of the year, and my To Do list for school and home keeps growing like the weeds in my flowerbeds. (There’s another thing to add to the list.)
As I prepare for the opening week, I keep thinking of what our surf instructor in Costa Rica kept telling me: “When you stand up, face forward and look where you are going, not at your feet or where you have been!”
It seems like good advice for students. Keep your eyes forward!
Freshmen can be intimidated by mature upperclassmen, and I am not referring to bullying. I remember a time before a class period was going to begin. A group of boys were talking and joking while I was grading papers at my desk. Suddenly, the room became silent. I looked up at the boys wondering what happened when I heard, “Hi Mr. W.” Walking into my room was McKenzie, a senior. We exchanged pleasantries, she handed me some paperwork and she left. I don’t think the boys moved. They just stared in that awkward stalker-like manner. The boys were certainly intimidated by her. I am willing to bet that they had trouble keeping their eyes forward and refocusing their thoughts during class. Luckily, they are teenage boys and forget most things within twenty-four hours. Focus would happen the next day…maybe.
I have seen students come to class discussing what “he” said or “she” said and this gossip overtakes their learning. (However, perhaps they are preparing for a new reality serious similar to the “Housewives of —“ and they will be wealthier than myself.)
I have had students argue with me that they did not need to pass English 9 to graduate. I brought in other authority figures. All but one student at least believed the guidance counselor. This stubborn know-it-all spent his summer retaking the class. Since I have been married, I have learned that some people are more stubborn than others.
I have learned that during certain times of the year students really struggle with facing forward; for instance, during the NCAA basketball tournament. Many a student is looking at the past records and statistics to fill out a bracket. Schoolwork loses its luster as game after game is on TV.
Without a doubt, all of us parents and teachers have struggled with facing forward in high school. Imagine if we could go back in time. I am positive I would think high school would be pretty easy. I thought I had a lot of responsibility, like study, do some chores, and go to swim practice. Oh, and I HAD to complain about doing the chores!
Today, I still do homework, do some chores, and drive my kids to practices. Plus, a few other things that go along with marriage, children, pets, etc.
What will you face forward for?