Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Sowing the Seeds of Success
Now that Labor Day is here and, unofficially, summer has ended in the U.S, it seems like everyone (including me!) is talking about going back to school and what it takes to make it a successful year. You’ve gotten your school supplies, set your schedule, and developed a game plan for the start of school. You are all set - right?
The usual concerns about a new school year seem to be in hyperdrive.
You can't listen to a newscast or pick up a newspaper or read an article without being reminded how far our kids are "behind" - how their test scores are abysmal...the worst in decades.
What does it really mean?
That students haven't reached some arbitrary goal or milestone the we or someone else sets for us?
Or, have we been "teaching to the test" for decades? (And is that really education?)
Does it mean that our kids are destined to be failures in life?
What if it will take longer to get there? We are, as everyone keeps saying, living in unprecedented times. Our kids are stressed to the max. Anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide are on the rise. Many feel alone, isolated, hopeless.
Meanwhile, they keep hearing that they are not enough; that some arbitrary number on a printout page defines their worth.
What if the concentration is on living life to the fullest possible?
Finding the joy in the daily actions we can take?
Keeping our minds and bodies healthy?
Taking care of the whole child- their social, emotional, and physical - needs so that their minds are free to learn.
I propose that we erase the slate and start over - pay more attention to the progress, the baby steps taken toward the goal. Focus on the things our kids are doing well. Celebrate all wins - big, small, and in-between.
Equate "falling behind" to missing the bus (thanks, Ryann for this analogy). When we miss the bus we can run behind it trying to catch up (usually an exercise in futility and always a waste of energy). Or we can wait for the next bus, using our time productively,..
Give yourself and your kids some grace. Instead of worrying about where they are not, concentrate on the progress made and keep caring for and nurturing the seeds that were planted, taking the steps that move them forward.
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"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso
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