Gearing Up for School as Summer Winds Down

Fall is in the air! Can you feel it? I can. The fall soccer season has started with two games this past week, one against a nearby rival last night, ending in a tie.  The afternoon was warm but by 7 p.m., when the varsity team started to play, it was rapidly getting cooler.

We have had a change in coaching staff this year and I could not be more hopeful about the team and my son’s experience. The two coaches, both local teachers, are instilling a great deal of character development in the experience. This includes the “one for all, all for one” type of thematic messages. The difference this year is that they are truly sincere in their belief in that phrase and the actions that accompany it. Talking with other parents last night, we believe it will be a fun and positive year for our sons, and one that will be much more gratifying to watch as they mature both on and off the field as people, not just teammates.  The absence of negativity will be a huge contributing factor.

I am trying to be positive about the academic year, as well. My senior has had two challenging years, and has exhibited growing traits of perseverance and tenacity in the face of some academic adversity in his courses.  As I have written before, he learns differently than most, but unfortunately there is still an overwhelming propensity to put our students in a box, rather than allow them to learn in a manner that works to their advantage.  I still do not see movement in the direction of maximizing the use of a variety of teaching styles to allow all students to learn and meet their highest potential.  We both are trying to be positive for the upcoming year and what it holds.  I expect that the excitement of senior year, college admissions, and planning for the future will overshadow all but the most troubling circumstances, which hopefully are all behind us.

My youngest will have his first advanced placement (AP) class experience. He will be taking AP Calculus as a sophomore.  All three of my boys have taken AP classes.  My oldest, took AP Calculus as a freshman, my senior took it just last year, as a junior. Fortunately, they all have been lucky enough to have the same teacher, who is adept at the art of mathematics and willing to assist students in any way that will benefit their learning. My sophomore is ready, as he took a math class online over the summer to fine tune his skills.  I doubt anyone else has spent two hours a day on advanced math this summer. Pride does not begin to describe my feelings about his work ethic.

AP classes are an interesting subject, one I will explore in a future post, soon. Over the years I have learned that different families have different reasons for having their child take one of these classes. Understanding what is involved for the student and why you or  your student want to take an AP class is key to a successful undertaking.

Yes, summer is winding down. School has started for some and will be starting soon for our students.  Whether your student is taking AP classes, has a full schedule, or plans to try a new activity this year, it is time to look forward with a positive outlook. Good Luck!


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