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A Point of View: Back to school offers a new year and a new opportunity

SPRINGVILLE — A new school year has begun, bringing with it a fresh start. My friends, opportunity is knocking.

Students, the home and the school create a powerful triangulation when working together.

Many students who have returned to school had a sense of anticipation about what is ahead, and some entered the classroom for the very first time.

Education plays a key role in every individual’s life. Each student is responsible for his or her own actions and has a responsibility to be productive. It is essential to master basic skills and develop a positive work ethic. Cultivating a sense of achievement is necessary to a successful education.

Parental support plays a vital role toward academic success and the emergence of a positive learning experience. The foundation of a child’s character is home-centered, positively or negatively. Parents and other caregivers should be a child’s strongest cheerleaders.

Good organization, sensible routines and a solid work ethic are essential.

A productive school day begins hours before a student’s head hits the pillow at night. A child becomes a better student with cultivated management skills. Help children organize their time effectively. Limit television, computer games, chatter on the telephone and loud music. Eliminate distractions.

Getting enough exercise is also essential in obtaining a healthy lifestyle.

Keep in mind four key words: sleep, eat, work and play. Young minds and bodies need to have enough sleep every night, to perform at their best. They also require a healthy breakfast for a good work day. Good food gives bodies and brains the energy they need to function properly.

When rest and healthy food are combined with exercise and the completion of chores, the learner is off to a great start for a workday. Working to learn and learning to work are essential skills.

An open relationship between the school and the home is critical. The communication channels must go both ways. The school and the home can be most effective when pertinent information is shared. This allows teachers and parents to be responsive to the unique needs of each student. There are few things more hurtful to a student than a parent’s uncaring or overbearing attitude or a teacher’s vindictively unfair demeanor.

Working together as full partners can create a caring and sensitive school climate, which respects and responds to students’ individual needs. The student is at the center of this partnership.

The focus should be on maximizing learners’ potentials. This is the essential underpinning of a quality educational experience.

John Locke said, “The improvement of understanding is for two ends. First, our own increase of knowledge. Secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.”

America’s experiment, universal education for all citizens, is the cornerstone of our representative democracy. It is through excellence in education that we can maintain the freedoms and liberties we know and treasure.

Education throws wide the door of success and opens minds to virtue, freedom and security. Truly, “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Maintaining high educational performance expectations and action standards is necessary for a free, enduring society. Winston Churchill said, “Never flinch, never weary, never despair.” That is great advice for all of us to follow. And that is a point of view.

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