What Makes a Strong Start?
How you start the race will put you either in the lead or behind the pack, but we must remember that strong starts are not in the clothes we buy or the supplies we are able to find (folders with brads). Sure these things make us feel excited and prepared for the possibilities of a new year, but they won't help us finish strong. Strong starts begin with strong preparation.
To start the year strong, we must locate the behaviors, attitudes and effort needed to tackle the work and it is successfully tackled with the grit and perseverance. All the "clothes" in the world will not help kids overcome the difficulties they will find in their first period Algebra class. Those students who possess tenacity or learn it quickly will overcome their deficits.
All the school supplies in the world will not help a teacher respond to a class that doesn't connect to him or his content. Organization and commitment to that structure (as well as the kids who will benefit from that structure) will also be critical supplies teachers will need to lead their students to excellence. Furthermore, the ability to build, maintain, and sustain strong student relationships will be the best tool to keep kids in this year-long marathon we call learning.
As you get ready to start the year, what intangible supplies will you need to begin your race to excellence. After it’s all the intangibles that excellence educators possess that push all kids to excellence, not the tangible supplies on the list. Good luck and have a great beginning of the year.