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Many of you have already started back to school; others will begin the new school year in a couple of days. Our community wants this year to be the best year you have ever had.
We hope you, your family, your friends, school personnel and even the people in our community you do not know will work as a team to make this year a high point in your life.
The community has already affirmed the importance of you and your education by providing backpacks, school supplies, open-house celebrations and other efforts to get your year started in a positive direction.
You have much to do yourselves to continue the momentum that you certainly feel.
Following are a few suggestions as to what you can do to keep moving forward and to give yourself an advantage with this year’s education.
First of all, you can spend some time being thankful that you have the opportunity to attend school. All young people in today’s world do not have the opportunity for education, even the most basic schooling. Think continually on how lucky you are.
Remember to develop the habit of being friendly and helpful to the students at your school and to do the same for the teachers, administrators, custodians, lunchroom workers, counselors, librarians, coaches, support staff, visitors to the school, resource officers and all others who spend time at your school. You need all of these people to help you move ahead with your education. Throw your hand up, look them in the eye, flash a wide smile and say his or her name in greeting. That kind of friendliness is contagious.
Avoid being part of the problem when negative issues creep into the classroom or any other place at school. Model positive and mature behavior, and be part of the solution.
Familiarize yourself with school rules and school board policy. Standards must be in place to maintain order and safety and to ensure that the school environment and atmosphere be conducive to learning and social development.
Use your best manners everywhere in the school. Notice students who practice courtesy and observe how it makes others around them feel. You must do this.
Work on being organized and prepared for your classes, club responsibilities, sports practices and all other activities that you choose as part of your education. Slackers often get behind, struggle and then try to blame others for their failure.
Strive to have the best punctuality and attendance that you can. Chronic tardiness and absenteeism often lead to other habits that make it difficult to make changes.
Listen to your elders. They know more than you do and can help you avoid traps and bad decisions.
If you encounter problems at school, talk to an adult who will listen and possibly refer you to a person or agency that can help.
Focus on taking care of school property, which belongs to you as well as to all others who are associated with the school. Let your good care make the hardworking custodian’s job a little easier, and be an example to other students when it comes to taking care of the school.
Be helpful to all those around you. You know how to do this.
Learn all you can; practice what you have learned; learn to apply your new knowledge in and out of the classroom; talk to your family, friends and community members about how important knowledge is to your life and your future.
Have you thought of how important having fun and developing socially are? You will surely remember your school days, and you want to be able to say that you enjoyed that crucial time of your life.
Finally, hold on to the thought that one day you will need to be working, supporting yourself and your family and making a positive contribution to your community, your country and the world.
Have a great school year, and do your best in all areas of your school life.
Sanda Baucom Hight
Sanda Baucom Hight is retired from Wilson County Schools after serving as an English teacher and is currently a substitute teacher in Wilson County. Her column focuses on the charms of home, school and country life.