The first trimester of the 2013-14 school year ends today, and you will receive a report of your child’s progress prior to Thanksgiving Vacation. I’ll share some guidance with you in the next edition of the newsletter about what kind of information you should expect and how I would suggest talking with your child about this progress report – which is likely much different from the report cards you received as a child.
First Things First. Not just a segue in my newsletter, but also the focus of our classrooms this month in The Leader In Me. As we teach students this third Habit, we talk about the importance of getting work done before play – for example, getting homework done first and then going outside to play. Of course, I know the many activities that our students take part in sometimes start immediately after school – so First Things First may not reflect when important things happen – as long as they happen.
That’s the superficial overview – but as we dig deeper into the meaning of Habit 3: Put First Things First, I notice that what we put first reflects our priorities. The “thing” that we put first reflects its level of importance in our lives. As adults, we have so many spheres revolving around us, and determining what level of importance to place on those things can be mind-blowing. Career? Quality family time? Connecting with good friends? Birthday parties? Sports and activities? And then enforcing a good bedtime like I suggested last month? Hard to do it all with but 24 hours in a day.
It is a challenge to find that proper balance, particularly when that balance changes as kids get older. (this summer, I read a book called “The Myth of Work/Life Balance – a topic for another month) So when you talk to your kids – perhaps it’s not “when” you Put First Things First, but what things are important to you, and why. Getting schoolwork done is important, just as important as family time or play time. But the fact that my kids come home from school and get their homework done right away just means that’s what works for them. For other kids, I know they need a break from the books and need to play first or talk to mom and dad about their day.
So in conclusion – perhaps the order of what comes first isn’t as important as the prioritization and actually getting those things done in a way that is meaningful and best for you and your family. We will teach “work, then play” – and I would add, do both!
Two other notes: Monday, November 11 is Veterans Day, and there is no school for students and staff that day. My middle school history teaching background informs me that this day, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, was the day and time that fighting stopped in World War I – nearly 100 years ago. We honor and remember our Veterans, especially this Monday.
This weekend, if you are taking advantage of family time, doing “honey-do lists”, or just relaxing, take some time as well to peruse the student, family, and business directory that comes home in Friday Folders today. This directory is made possible through financial donations from local and parent-owned businesses, and through the impressive amount of time and expertise from our parent volunteers. Check the directory out for money-saving offers and coupons – support those that have supported our school!
Enjoy the three-day weekend – see you all on Tuesday.