What we think: Students’ first day is unique opportunity

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By The Staff

The first day of school can be the first day of not only a new educational cycle but also of a new opportunity.

Students mostly are eager to return to campuses, if not always precisely to return to classes, and teachers have recharged batteries, newly learned techniques and tactics and, for some, new rooms in which to try to influence minds.

The errors of the previous year are erased, and frustrations with particular situations and subjects no longer are present.

And this is an important nuance that we must embrace to be successful as both students and educators.

More often than not, success in class rooms – particularly as measured on the grading scale – comes from sheer, unadulterated interest by the student.

Teachers do their mightiest to extend a course to each and every student, but ultimately it is how that student returns that effort that will decide how well he or she performs.

If you are a student – and parents please follow your suggestions here – please don’t underestimate this opportunity.

As useless as you may believe some required subjects are to your foreseen career paths, you have to go to significant extremes before they are irrelevant.

So few students have good word skills, that any language course is a benefit. Likewise math, however specific in its type, adds critical thinking skills that not only teach formulas and solutions but also analysis beyond the numbers on the page.

The social sciences add to the depth, breadth and understanding of life, and the physical sciences expand our knowledge of the natural world.

What you add to those basics is by your choice and conceivably to your interest, but it’s how you embrace the basics, how much investment of time and brainpower you devote to those topics that ultimately will define your academic excellence for one and your ability to be successful in the world for the other.

School is not to be endured and some subjects ignored. The curriculum is there to help you broaden and grow and to lay bricks rather than straw on the foundation of the prior year.

So on this opening day, when the bells sound and the teachers introduce, no matter what the topic, who the instructor or where the classroom, just know that your course in life very well could be mapped by how you begin the class as well as how you finish it.

Parents, please help your students see that starts don’t last throughout life, which is perhaps another honors-level lesson for opening day.

To all of you: Good luck and good learning.