Two bricklayers were building a wall. A passerby asked, “what are you doing?” The first bricklayer scowled and said, “what does it look like? I’m just laying bricks.” The second bricklayer smiled and replied, “I’m part of a team constructing a school that will serve this community for generations, bringing people together in learning and friendship.”
The first bricklayer saw no further than the job at hand and the day’s wages. The second bricklayer, however, radiated optimism and energy. What is the difference between the two? In short, attitude and vision. These traits promote success in all endeavors, including our efforts to learn, study and achieve educational goals. These and other practices I have noted below can pave the way to success for our students in school now and in the future.
Build vision. Students should have a vision beyond assignments, grades, or school itself. When we have a vision borne of passion, study transforms from obligation to opportunity; it brings purpose. Are you striving towards a goal, to help others, to gain important skills? Identify the “big picture” that motivates your child to learn, and dream big.
Leverage time. We cannot increase hours in a day, but we can make time more valuable. Start by maximizing time during class. Listen and participate. Focusing at school reduces time needed for external study. Outside of school, meet learning goals by making monthly, weekly, and daily study schedules. Plan short lessons, studying no longer than fifteen minutes before switching subjects or activities. This keeps you alert and refreshed. Short lessons significantly improve retention.
Create a healthy environment. Keep study enjoyable with an environment conducive to learning. Daily life is inundated with screen time, so study offline when possible. Reduce distractions by having two or three pleasant study spots. These should have good lighting, comfortable seating, and easy access to the resources you need. Also, create a foundation for success by eating well and getting plenty of sleep.