Set goals now for productive year

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.

The first week of school is behind us and we have had very few problems, just the normal bus route issues and some placement hitches. Overall, the opening was considered a success

Now that we have officially started school, the real work is ahead of us. This is a time for students to put forth a gallant effort to make real learning gains. Certainly, we recommend that students work hard throughout the year, but we recognize the beginning of the school year usually sets the tone for the rest of the year.

Students should establish a routine that will meet the demands of the classroom. Once this has been established, learning becomes easier and students become more disciplined. A well disciplined student is a self-regulated learner. A self-regulated student will be successful and self-reliant in life as an adult because of the lessons learned early in life. The model student or the well-disciplined student will always:

* Take their school work serious.

* Get familiar with materials required for learning.

* Ask for help.

* Never settle for average.

* Make an effort to enjoy the class, regardless of the level of difficulty.

* Be positive.

It would be prudent for students to demonstrate good learning patterns early in the school year because a great start will motivate one to work harder throughout the school year, and success becomes a part of one's expectations. A poor start will cause a student to shut down and lose confidence. Bad habits usually result in failure.

Students who are unstructured and do not have a routine or a plan for success are persons that fit in this category. The following are indicators of students who routinely are unsuccessful in the academic arena:

* Poor attendance

* Excessive tardiness.

* Do not complete assignments.

* Failure to take notes.

* Poor time management. (Procrastinate)

* Do not follow teacher's instruction.

* Negative thinking toward school and class work.

Since we are off to a good start of the 2011-2012 school year, it would be great to have all of our students adopt a new self-regulated learning plan that will foster success. I encourage parents to assist their child in planning self-regulated strategies.

To go through the entire school year without a plan would be counterproductive, which could yield very little progress. Our goal as partners, parents, teachers and community is to offer support to our children to ensure learning gains. We must assist them as much as we possibly can.

In addition to designing strategies, I am suggesting that students set short- and long-term goals for the school year. Without a vision, students do not have a sense of direction. It is imperative that students understand the process of being a high achiever because their future depends on how well they perform in the classroom.

We want children to succeed at every level so that they can develop into productive citizens and reach their goals in life. In this brand new season of learning, let's all work together to help our children become the best that they can become.

I wish much success to all of our students in Alachua County school district.

Philoron Wright is assistant to the superintendent of community and schools for Alachua County Public Schools.

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