Getting ready for a new school year can bring up a mix of emotions for kids of all ages. They might be beaming with excitement, full of anxiety or somewhere in between.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your children is key, experts say, so we asked some local teachers, school administrators and mental health professionals about the things children might need to hear at this time of year.
Take a look at these encouraging words for kids in school. We hope it’s a confidence booster for your kids and a helpful springboard for future conversations.
Are you a teacher or parent with advice to add? Share it in the comments section below!
Steve Matthews, Ed.D., the superintendent of Novi Community School District
“Don’t compare this school year to the last one. This year has got to be better than last year.”
“Just remain positive and upbeat that this school year is going to go well and be full of positive experiences.”
Dana Greenhut, Ph.D., a child and adult psychologist based in Farmington Hills
“Organize belongings the night before school. This will make mornings so much smoother and take away some of the stress!”
“Make it a personal goal to say ‘hello’ to one or two new people a day.”
“Stay ahead of the game! If you start to feel that you are falling behind, let your teachers know so they can help.”
“It can be hard to pay attention during a long day at school. Taking notes can help you pay attention and active listening goes a long way to make studying easier.”
Debra Redlin, assistant principal at Parcells Middle School in Grosse Pointe Woods
“Have courage and be kind!”
Penny Stocks, principal at Poupard Elementary School in Harper Woods
“You might not be able to do some things the other kids can … yet! So remember to say, I can’t do this YET, but I will!”
Beth Rainbolt, teacher at Pere Gabriel Richard Elementary School in Grosse Pointe Farms
“I intend to begin the year doing the ‘Toothpaste Challenge’ with my 4th and 5th graders as a way to help them see that words and actions leave a lasting impression. So this would be the quote I’ll be adopting for the year: ‘Be careful of ‘Toothpaste’ words! They’re the ones that once spoken, can’t be put back into the tube.'”
Rand Swansey, third grade teacher at Pere Gabriel Richard Elementary School in Grosse Pointe Farms
“Allow yourself to take risks and to fail: If you aren’t failing you aren’t learning, you’re simply doing what you already know.”
Denise Lily, principal at Field Elementary in Canton
“Confucius once said, ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.’ With every day, there will be new challenges and new adventures. No matter what the day brings, always know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Some things will be easy and other things will take a little more work. You must never give up. Always believe in yourself!”
Clint Smiley, principal at West Middle School in Plymouth
“Create Your Future! What does this three-word statement mean to you? To me, it says, ‘You alone are responsible for the effort you put into each day. Very simply put, this daily effort is what will make or break your future. Put all that you have into whatever it is that you are doing.’ If it is a mental task that you are involved in, put aside all of the potential distractions like your phone, TV or radio and fully engage your mind to best solve the problem at hand. If it is a physical task that you are undertaking, engage your body and mind as you train and practice so that you will perform to the best of your ability during the actual event. The idea of creating your future even works when it comes to your friends and your social life. When you are with others, fully engage in the conversation – focus, look the other person in the eye and give them your full attention whether you are talking or listening. Live your life so that when you lie down at night, you can look back at your day and say that you did it right and that you put everything that you had into it.
In short, whatever you are doing – do it with all of your attention, energy and enthusiasm.”
Cheri Steckel, principal at Plymouth High School
“Put in your head what you want to see happen. What your mind believes, you can achieve.”