Back to school

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My younger daughter is upstairs packing all the things she needs for another year of college. Yes. That’s right. Everyone is getting ready for another exciting academic year ahead. But lets slow down a minute and take a look at the term – On your mark!

Before we can get ready,each one of us needs to find the mark. But what is that mark and where is it? For each one of us it is different, since we are approaching it from different angles.

The Educator, the Learner, and the Legal Guardian.

The Educator -Many people think that educators wave goodbye to their students at the end of the previous school year and spend the next few months at some exotic beach. The truth is that preparing the right materials, lesson plans, and learning environment do not happen over night. While August may be an exciting time for incoming students, for  most teachers it is the month dedicated to find that mark.

The mark is that day when the educator can finally say to themselves that everything is pretty much in place to welcome the incoming class. The learning environment has been worked on and prepared to be presented as a welcoming learning environment (depending on the age of the learners), all hand outs have been copied (or available for digital sharing), and most importantly, the educator has visualized for themselves, in the same manner that an athlete does, crossing that  finish line.

The Learner – Summer is down time for all students. It’s a time to kickback and give yourself a mental break from all the mental workout teacher love to impose on their  students. But not matter how far someone travels, or how much fun they have during the summer excursions, each learner has a point in time in which they come to the realization that they must get ready. Not every learner get psyched. For many approaching a new school, a new grade level, or a new subject never explored can lead to apprehension. Then again there are many students who cant wait to get back into the environment that occupies most of their year. For most learners this is their  full time occupation. Here as well learners must find that mark.

For the slackers, it may be the night before classes actually begins. For the well organized who wait anxiously for the back to school sales to begin, that may be the mark. Of course there is a wide range of everything from the young child who might be too young to really understand the meaning of 1st day of pre school or kindergarten as compared to the college student who may shipping off to a new location away from home for the first time in their life.

Legal Guardians -For this group having to deal with many forms and permission slips, the mark may be as simple as that first communication from the school administration. And what about the group of guardians at the transitional phase of  first school experience of 1st grade or college?

From my personal experience the mark for me came when my daughters were in high school and I was invited to  a college preparatory session in their sophomore year. I can tell you that the event was the mark.

What is your mark?

Check out the back to school jitters clip that gives some great advice.