5 Pieces Of Advice As School Begins
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5 Pieces Of Advice As School Begins

Watch your feet because I'm stepping on toes...

5 Pieces Of Advice As School Begins
James Bloedel

I was an educator for 16 years. I taught one year in middle school (because I didn't want to teach two years in middle school), nine years in public high schools, four years in an elite private high school and was an assistant principal for two years in another public high school. So, in regards to secondary education, I've got an awful lot of ground covered and can speak from experience when I offer the following thoughts:

1. If your child is unsuccessful, it's most likely both his/her fault and YOURS.

I know in this day and age, we are quick to transfer blame. If a child is unsuccessful in school, it can't possibly be his fault...or the parent's fault. It has to be something else, right?


Of course some kids have learning difficulties. I'm not talking about those. Of course there are some bad teachers. I'm not talking about those either. I'm talking about the vast majority of students who struggle simply because they put forth minimal effort and have no real expectations placed on them from home. Those are the very parents who won't hesitate to blame the teacher, the school system, the school board, etc. for their child's lack of production and effort...and for their failure to monitor said child.

I could write an entire book on this topic, but I'll just stop here. You and I both know people like the ones I'm describing. Those "amen"s you hear are from the teachers reading this article.

2. Hey administrators, DO YOUR JOBS and have your teacher's/coach's backs.

I don't know when the age of the gutless administrator started, but we're living in it now. Look, if a parent comes to you with a complaint about a teacher or coach, the FIRST thing you should ask is: "Have you talked to the teacher about this? Have you talked to the coach about this?" If the answer is no, stop the meeting and send them to the freaking teacher or coach. Too many "leaders" allow the angry parent to bypass this step. This is a textbook example of poor leadership.

3. Students, you're not nearly as sneaky as you think you are.

When I was a student in high school, I was shocked at the things my teachers "didn't hear." Once I became a high school teacher, I figured it out. It wasn't that they "didn't hear," they just chose to act like they didn't hear. Teachers hear everything. EVERY-THING. I know you think you're being sneaky and that old person in the room has no clue what you're doing or saying, but...surprise. They really do. Part of being a teacher, and an adult, is just knowing what battles to fight and which ones to just let go.

4. Neither high school nor college is "the best time of your life."

Rather, it shouldn't be. If that turns out to be true, you have no one but yourself to blame. I loved being in high school and college, for sure. Yes, being carefree and living with few real obligations was awesome, but that's not real life. Your life is what you make of it, but if you get to the end of it, look back and believe that high school and/or college was the very best time of your life...you probably did it wrong.

5. Make good choices.

It's really true that you can mess your life up forever by some of the things you choose to do in high school and/or college. I know you think it won't happen to you. Lots of people think that. I used to think that too...until it did. The first day of school is like New Year's Day. You have the opportunity to start fresh...to start over...to be everything you can be for your parents, your teachers, your friends and for yourself.

Some of the friends you'll make it high school and college will be with you for the rest of your life. Others will turn into people you used to know. But give everyone a chance to be that life-long friend. I know that high school is made up of cliques, but be your own clique. Stand apart. Be different. Make a difference.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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