Submitted by: Mark Drago, faculty member at
Landmark High School
There is an old Staples back to school commercial where the dad skips down the aisle and his kids trudge behind him as the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background. A totally different portrayal of the start of school from pop culture is John Green’s open letter to students starting school, asking a simple question, “How psyched are you for the end of summer?” As students make their way through the first day of school, constantly checking their class schedule and navigating where to sit, some seem psyched to be there while others trudge along. Here are some tips that teachers can share with students to get through the next month.
Get to know the people in your class
Both the students and teachers you meet on the first day are the faces you will see for the rest of the school year. Take time the first day to learn their names, their hobbies, and what interests them. These are the people you will work with, learn with, and build connections with.
Learn the expectations
Every class is different. You might have a lab in science class, a writing assignment in literature, and a challenging problem in mathematics. Both the first day and really the first month, take time to learn the expectations. What materials do you need? What should you do at the start of class? What can you do to succeed? All of these questions are good to ask the first day.
Find out what motivates you
It is a new year with new people and classes. You’ve got brand new pencils and a brand new opportunity to make this year great. Try to find something that gets you excited about school and keep that in mind as you make your way throughout the year.