Simple ways to do well in class

Principle Greg Schwab's sure-fire techniques to succeed at MTHS

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What seemed like a long summer break way back in June has now vanished and it has been replaced by the start of yet another school year. As much as I love summer vacation, it gets really lonely around here. I really enjoy this time getting prepared for a new school year, seeing familiar student and staff faces, and meeting new students and staff who are joining our MTHS family.

I hope your summer break was filled with fun, and I hope you are as excited as I am to get this school year off to a great start.

Every year, I seem to have the same kind of thoughts about the new school year—it is a new beginning, a fresh start, yada, yada, yada…

Not that I don’t have those thoughts again this year, but lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what is it that makes a student successful in school. I’ve been thinking about what are those things that get in the way of a student not being successful in school.

I’ve come to a conclusion about this, and while some may think I am over simplifying what it takes to do well in school, I think there are a couple of things that successful students do that are really not hard for anyone to do.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Come to school every day. No surprise here, right? Coming to school every day means that you are in your classes, that you are learning the material, and that you are getting the assignments and homework that make up your grades for those classes.

2. Do your work. It’s not enough to be in your classes. You have to make sure that you do the work assigned by your teachers.

This means engaging in your classes and making the time to get assignments done. When we work with a student who is struggling in school, there is often a pattern of missed homework and assignments, the beginning of “the hole.” And as the amount of missed work grows, the hole gets deeper and deeper.

Students reach the point where they cannot see any way out of the hole they have dug for themselves and it just becomes easier to give up.

The trick is to not even let the hole get started. You do this by staying caught up and by making your school work a priority.

3. Be nice. A factor that often contributes to a lack of success in school is negative attitudes toward school—teachers, classes, school work. Sometimes this negative attitude comes across in poor behavior.

Like it or not, your attitude toward school and the people who are here to work with you and help you learn will have an impact on your success or lack of success. If you approach your school experience with a positive attitude, you will find more success.

That’s it. Three simple things that anyone can do, and every one of these things is within your control to affect either positively or negatively.

My wish for every student in our school is that you have a great school experience and that you get the education you need and want that will help you achieve the next steps in your life after school. Make this school year a great one because you deserve it!

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