Planning for Academic Improvements

What are your thoughts as you witness another school year coming to a close? Has the year been everything you’d hope it could be? What changes would you consider?

Ideas to improve school culture

To ensure that the school atmosphere is one that encourages not only academic success, but also stresses social-emotional growth, consider the positive results that such an emphasis would create.

  • Having an attitude of perseverance and grit in times of both academic and social difficulties
  • Teaching that grit is not only necessary in regard to scholastic endeavors, but is also important when reaching for a new athletic level or skill or when playing in the band or orchestra
  • Understanding that mental flexibility is not only necessary for problem solving in a classroom, but also in social situations; after all, there are always multiple points of views and paths to reach a goal
  • Knowing that self-control can be used when words or actions are directed toward someone else as well as being mindful of the words and actions you choose to use in response
  • Understanding that kindness and empathy will touch others when they are in need, even if you are totally unaware of what they happen to be experiencing at the time
  • Recognizing when someone needs a helping hand, and being willing to slow down, take a minute, and offer a smile or kind word

Changes for yourself

Consider what you could organize over the summer in preparation for more successful future experiences.

  • First, take stock of your current reality. Think about the strategies and procedures you have had in place this past year. Separate them into categories of HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL, COULD BE BETTER, and THIS HAS GOTTA CHANGE.
  • Second, look for alternatives for the THIS HAS GOTTA CHANGE.  If you are honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you need some help here. After all, if “this” came naturally to you, “it” wouldn’t be in this column to begin with! Who might you ask for assistance? A learning specialist, an organization guru, a favorite teacher, a counselor, a friend who is very successful in this area, a parent? Ask someone from whom you would be willing to listen and are willing to share their suggestions, and try to put the processes in place now!
  • Look at the COULD BE BETTER list and determine what can be tweaked for improvement in this area. Be willing to implement some of the strategies you used previously, and consider some of the same people on whom you relied for earlier issues. They may possess some of the solutions for which you had been searching.

Be prepared to practice

Regardless of all the prior planning, some procedures may need additional adjustments and revisions. Not unlike any other activity, practice is essential.

When you sign-up for a race, you don’t just show up on the day of the event and expect to be successful; on the days or weeks between sign-up and the event, itself, you practice. You listen to the coach, try new strategies, and, eventually, you become more adept in the area of effort.

Be willing to hone those new skills. With time and effort, you, and your school, will become the best you all can be.

Good luck.

Dr. W

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Photograph by Elijah Henderson.


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