New beginnings. That is how many people view the beginning of a new month and a new year. Others view it even more deeply and relish the new beginning each and every morning.
Perhaps this is the view that educators, students, and parents should take when looking at the remaining school year. Some see where we are now, in January, as being half-way through a school year. Others see it as the start of a new semester. Some parents of gifted children whom I have worked with prefer to see January as a time for reset and adjustment, so the rest of the school year is manageable and/or more positive for their gifted student.
Just because the first part of the school year may have had obstacles for gifted students does not mean that the rest of the school year has to be a repeat. Have you or the student learned anything from the obstacles? As a teacher, do you better understand the needs of a gifted student, even if it is one small characteristic? As a student, do you better understand your own needs in the classroom, and are you better able to self-advocate to show your teachers how they can help you? As a parent, do you better understand the parameters in which teachers must work so they reach all students, including your gifted student, and are better able to pinpoint one way to help them do that?
If the first part of the school year was positive and your gifted student is having a “good” year, acknowledge that (out loud to the teacher/school staff), make note of why you consider it a “good” year, and consider how to help ensure the rest of the year is just as positive. As a teacher, can you identify what you are doing to positively impact gifted students? It is worth noting and reflecting upon, so you may continue to improve your craft of teaching, because generally what benefits some students also benefits other students, albeit perhaps in different ways. As a gifted student, think about what has made the first part of the school year a positive learning experience and talk with your teachers so they know what is working and what is not. Often, teachers need to learn from students about what is working and how to better meet student needs.
All of us might have a more helpful mindset if we thought about the pleasant minutes from the day and how to have more of them tomorrow.
Here are some websites with tips for second semester.
Second Semester Self-Care Tips for Teachers
10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School
10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Middle School
10 Ways to Help Your Teen Succeed in High School
Starting Second Semester Off Right: Tips for a Successful Spring Term (In High School)
New Semester Tips for Parents and Students of Virtual Schools
School Attendance Matters
This resource is helpful for parents, students, and teachers. It highlights the statistics about school attendance and how important it is for students.
Ask the Doctor