Have your best academic year ever

Fifth-grade teacher says success is not possible without effort of all stakeholders – students and parents

When your parents or guardians remind you to do your best as a student, they are simply saying believe in yourself, everyone is not your friend, study and to talk about your day, according to Sheia Stubbs, a fifth-grade teacher at Queen’s College who recently addressed a group of students prior to their return to the classroom for the new academic year.

Stubbs said a successful school year is not possible without the effort of all stakeholders – students and parents.

“No one ever wakes up and says to themselves, “How can I have the worst day ever?” or looks around in a store to purchase the worst items. Innately, we all want what is best,” said Stubbs as she spoke on the topic “How to have the B.E.S.T. School Year Ever!”

She spoke to students, parents and guardians as they prepared to embark on the new academic year about what they could do to orchestrate the best school year, ever.

Stubbs drove her point home with the acronym BEST which she said was for believing in yourself, everyone is not your friend, study, and talk.

“Believe you can and you are halfway there,” said Stubbs. “This is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. Students, know and remember that you are God’s wonderful creation. There is so much greatness within. Set goals, and make plans for this new school year.”

Whether their aim is to join a performing arts or track club, read a book, or pass a quiz, or perhaps simply improve in a particular subject area, she encouraged them to know that every hope, dream, or goal set is possible.

“Philippians 4:13 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who is our strength,” she said.

The fifth-grade teacher reminds students that everyone is not their friend which she said means that being a part of the same class does not automatically qualify that person as your friend. And that they are simply your classmate. “Be selective about who you allow in your circle. It is important that the people who you allow to be close to you help to make you better. So, this school year, surround yourself with kind, loving, respectful, honest students who love God. Seek to be in the company of individuals who would encourage you in your

‘low’ moments. Remember to be friendly to everyone as well.”

She said liking, subscribing, or following the influencers, gamers and Youtubers may be a nice gesture, but they are not their friends either.

“Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us that two are better than one and that if one falls, the other will lift up his (fellow) friend, but pity the one who falls and have no one to help him up.”

Stubbs said school is all about studying which means spending time gaining knowledge.

“The job of a student is to study. Remember these four keys: stay focused, pay attention during all lessons, ask questions, and review nightly. As a result, when the test or quiz is administered, it can be passed with ease. Yes, children have various learning styles and for some, grasping a concept will take longer or another strategy may be needed. Albert Einstein said, ‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with the problem longer.’”

She encouraged parents to help their child to enjoy learning and to use resources such as books, tutors, and educational videos to assist your child.

“Proverbs 3:13 reminds us that those who find wisdom and gains understanding are blessed.”

Stubbs also said talk is important.

“This may sound a bit contradictory since most times at school the teacher is commenting that students talk too much (usually when they should be silent). It is crucial that students ask questions to gain clarity. Granted, they may not wish to speak up during a lesson, so after school or during a break time is also acceptable.”

The teacher also encouraged parents to be intentional about allowing their child to reflect on their day and to not allow a simple “good” or “fine” to be all that is said about the six-plus hours their child has spent at school.

“This is how you can determine how they feel about school … friends, and how well they are coping. Further counsel may be needed from a teacher or guidance counselor.”

Stubbs said a successful school year is not possible without the effort of all stakeholders.

“Proverbs 15:22 reminds us that without counsel plans fail and with many advisors they succeed.”

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