Back to school: It’s more than textbooks and lectures | SierraSun.com
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Back to school: It’s more than textbooks and lectures

“Time flies when you’re having fun” certainly defines the case of summer vacation from school. Within the blink of an eye, school is in session once again. Another summer of memories and good times came and went, only existing in photos. Buckling down and focusing on school is now in order.The first week of school brings up a variety of emotions: anxiety, excitement, disappointment, and desire. Students who enter a new realm of their education often experience anxiety for this academic year. Kindergarten, middle school, high school, and college define difference in an educational experience. Each builds upon the other while preparing students for their current and future achievements. Until students entering these new phases are into the groove, feelings of nervousness and uncertainty are common and normal. Concepts involving new teachers, friends, classrooms and schools promote excitement for other students. The idea of a fresh start with opportunities for expanding and increasing knowledge accompanies eager anticipation. The ultimate goal of most educators and parents is instilling this enthusiasm toward learning within students. Looking forward to school is felt by more students than not. The structure and regular schedule provided by school is actually comforting to many.Getting over the first-day anxietyRegardless of the fact that summer vacation officially terminates with the arrival of Labor Day, some students consume themselves with denial of this situation. Their hopes of not accepting the start of school encourages the potential that maybe the first day is not really happening. They downright refuse to believe the truth that school is open. Disappointment appears across their faces in the form of frown lines, furrowed brows, and a few tears traveling down their cheeks. Sadly, these students faced a rude awakening when they walked into their classrooms.Luckily, these saddened students see smiles on their friend’s faces when they arrive at school. The “happy-to-be-back-at-school” learners hold a desire to gain as much information and knowledge as their brains can hold. They understand the importance of education. School is more than textbooks, lectures, notes, homework and tests. It teaches students lessons about life: how to interact with peers, adults, and make good decisions. Socialization and participation in extra-curricular activities are just a few aspects that make school fun.Growing up at schoolFor whatever reason, the notion of school gets a bad rap. Perhaps this is because of the workload, teachers who make learning difficult, or the amount of time spent within the classroom. Many students, especially those in middle and high school, are intensely awaiting adulthood. They seem to think that being a “grown-up” is awesome, which in many ways, is. Being able to live on your own without having to attend school appears appealing. Little is it known that having an education often defines who you become as an adult. It provides a basis for conversation and similar experiences among adults, and can be the reason why a person is eligible for a job or a candidate for a particular relationship.Attending school is part of life. It is what we do while our minds develop and interests grow. Taking a variety of core courses and electives plays an imperative role in building curiosity toward careers. Many adults continue to educate themselves as they participate in society. Certain fields of employment require continuation of education to maintain job security. Other “grown ups” choose to further their education for the sheer knowledge involved, regardless of any promotion. The attitude a student has toward school is a direct reflection in their work and prospective success. Parents, teachers, and peers alike are primary promoters of positive outlooks on school.Vicki Isacowitz is a secondary English teacher who has been educating students since 1996. Her column runs every other Friday in the Sierra Sun. She is co-founder of Clever Minds Educational Services, providing tutoring for students in grades K-12. For more information, or to comment on her column, call 582-1707 or e-mail: vicki@cleverminds.org.


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