August 17, 2017
Last September, I had a conversation with a NYC teacher who handles second graders. I was astounded when she said, “Only ___ days to go to the end of the school year.” Then she added, “And four years until I retire.” Recently, one of my West coast relatives, who’s a therapist in private practice said, “When the new school year approaches, I have a number of teachers who tell me they are dreading the first week of school.”
Paying strict attention to the teacher
That’s two brief instances into how teachers feel. Now, let’s take a look at the life of a student.
THE FIRST TO FIFTH GRADE
The first day of school can be a bit of a jolt. It’s a big step for a child so it’s a good idea to ask what he or she thinks about school and encourage them to ask questions. The first year involves supporting a child’s learning. If a child is having difficulty, it’s time to talk to his or her teacher. One should be positive about the whole experience.
MIDDLE SCHOOL: 6TH, 7TH AND 8TH GRADES
Because of a changeover in the school system where I lived, my class was the only one to start high school in the eighth grade. This had never been done be before and hasn’t happened since. Did it harm anyone? No, kids can adjust very quickly.
Teachers in middle school often regard their students as young adults so assignments and tests can be more challenging. Students also become more competitive about grades at this age.
The hallways of middle school are lined with lockers that become a student’s home base. And libraries have more than books. They now have computers and video stations plus they’re great places for doing homework and gathering research for papers. Class schedules begin in middle school also. Different classes on different days may seem a bit daunting at first, but teachers and others are there to help.
The ubiquitous school locker
HIGH SCHOOL: 9TH TO THE 12TH GRADES
I loved high school but I’ve heard some friends say they “hated it.” It’s more of everything: classes, homework and, especially extracurricular activities. Sports were very important at my school and we seemed to win everything. There was also a drama club that produced plays and a school orchestra that was involved in musicals. I was on the Students’ Council, editor of the school newspaper and on the staff of the yearbook. This is a time to aim for academic excellence while getting involved in as many activities as possible.
OFF TO THE REAL WORLD: COLLEGE
There are two options: take a gap year or just plunge right in. Fast-paced, big city universities like Columbia or NYU can be traumatic for those coming from high schools in small towns. Planning ahead and preparing to live on one’s own the summer before entering college is a smart idea.
One of the most important lessons for freshmen with their newfound freedom is how to budget money for food, transportation, entertainment and other necessities.
College is definitely not like high school -- there's no comparison. So you have to dive in, make friends, join clubs, study hard and one day you'll wake up and and say three words: I DID IT.
MAY WE SUGGEST…
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October 22, 2020
I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
October 14, 2020
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
October 06, 2020
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.