Please raise your hand if buying school supplies makes you smile? For me, I become quite giddy. Going down the aisle of backpacks and lunchboxes energizes me with new hope. Looking over the many new supplies and tools that teachers and students have an opportunity to use and the classic standards that no one can go without.
Stores, as soon as July, put up banners and colorful advertisements to ring in the new school year. Yes, as a teacher, September is our New Year’s! New students with fresh faces and possibility for days. I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I get to start fresh and they get to too.
I have made it a habit to center my school year around a theme or specific goal. This practice has helped me to sort out the non-essentials tools or supplies from the truly important ones for better teaching and educating young minds. This summer, I spent several mornings drinking my coffee and contemplating what I wanted to convey to my students. What would be the take-away from every lesson? What did they absolutely need for learning?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle imparted to me the great wisdom of ancient days passed. I need for my students to understand that speaking a new language, or learning any new concept was a matter of time given to it. Listening. Repeating. Listening some more. Repeating some more…until the very concepts become the very speech or action that was first introduced.
Time should be on the top of the supply list. Now, when you think of time spent in learning, I charge you to remember that time must be a tool used for learning not the actual learning itself. The magical moment when act becomes habit is the transformation of lesson into the second-nature. Time is the tool we use to take information in and make it easily accessible to draw a conclusion, respond to a question or create a masterpiece. Once in this haven of long-term memory, rest assured that you will have a HABIT, LANGUAGE, or SKILL supplied.