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Larry Blustein


Setting Goals

For New

School Year


By Larry Blustein
sfsuntimes@aol.com

Try To Keep Them Alive Throughout The Entire Year

• PART TWO OF A 2 PART SERIES
When we last left you, the discussion was about school safety - and what measure can be put in place to make things better for this new year.

As many returned or started school this week - and next week - students come into the new year with plenty of optimism. After a long, hot summer, it’s all about having a plan and sticking with it.

For first year South Broward High freshman Alison Parker-Jones, the anticipation of a new school year and a new school has had her thinking about setting goals this summer. She even started preparing for the first year in high school by ready two books this summer.

“I feel that if I come to my new school and have a plan, I will be much better off,” she explained. “From having an older brother, I already know that things will be different at first, but as time moves along, you start to feel right at home.”

Because her mother is a teacher, Parker-Jones is perhaps more qualified than most students, but that doesn’t mean she has to work any less than everyone else.

For any student, the new school year always brings with it plenty of new challenges. Even if you really don’t really like school to start with, the beginning of the year is always the toughest.

“You don’t know a lot of people, and all the new classes seem really hard at first,” said 5th grade teacher Kathy Hope of Hollywood. “It gets better, and I have personally watched students who never liked school, seem to get into the flow when new friends are met - along with teachers who challenge them in the classroom.”

It is important to recognize that an education is a privilege and learning new things can be fun. Taking your studies seriously WILL prepare you for a bright future.

Hope recommends setting goals for yourself before the school year begins. Commit to these goals because how this school year goes academically is really up to how much time and effort the student puts in. Believe in yourself. You can do this!

“Go to class every day and take it seriously,” Hope explained. “People who skip a lot of classes, end up skipping life. When you miss a day, or even a class, it’s easy to fall behind. Nobody likes to feel like they’re behind, or in the dark. It can be hard to catch up and then pretty soon you might just give up.”

The best way to stay with the flow of the class is to be there! If you have to miss a class, make sure you meet with your teachers to find out exactly what you missed.

Hope also insists that doing your homework keeps you in the game. We know that homework isn’t meant to be a punishment, it’s meant to help you learn the concepts presented in class. Set aside time everyday to work on your homework.

“The one thing you want to always do is ask questions,” Hope pointed. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, teachers like students who are willing to raise their hand and ask for further explanation on something.

Remember that the new school gives students the chance to explore various interests they might have. Maybe you’ve been trapped in the path of just doing sports, but you’d like to try something in the music department. Or maybe you’ve always loved science, but decide to try a literature class and love it.

“I can recall when I was a student, my mother told me to make friends,” Hope said. “I remember I met my best friend by sitting with her because she was alone. Reaching out to them, find out who they are, and what they like to do is essential in embracing new friends.”

In a world that is never easy, it’s up to you to decide what kind of school year you’re going to have. Make the most of it while you can.

Benefits of Eating Breakfast for Students
You’ve probably heard the adage “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” a million times before; but it turns out that it may be true, especially when it comes to students. Eating a healthy breakfast before starting the school day is linked to improved concentration, better test scores, increased energy, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals, and even a healthier body weight. Breakfast is especially important for young students whose brains use up about half of the body’s energy.

Students who eat a healthy breakfast tend to have better concentration than students who skip breakfast altogether. When the day starts with breakfast, students can focus on the task at hand better and become less distracted by outside influences and other students. They’re also able to understand what’s being taught more easily and retain that new information better than students who are hungry because they’ve skipped breakfast.

Students who eat breakfast before starting their school day don’t just concentrate better, they tend to score better on academic tests in math, reading, and science. According to a study published in the Journal of Economics, students in schools that offered free breakfasts before class scored about 25 percent higher on math, reading and science tests. Researchers believe that this is because the breakfast provides the energy necessary to increase cognitive, or thinking, speed and problem-solving skills.

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