Writing college essays is a daunting task for most high school seniors and the cause of much friction between students and their parents in the middle of the college application process. Parents want to see applications completed and submitted well before admissions deadlines while students find thousands of ways to avoid writing their essays. Writing about oneself is never an easy task, but it is especially challenging for teenagers who are just beginning the process of self-reflection that insightful writing requires. These young writers are often apprehensive about putting pen to paper because they believe that their words, which will be evaluated by unknown admissions officers, will determine their college choices and their success in life.
Senior year of high school can sometimes feel like the perfect storm. It is the moment in which all that the students have worked for the past three years is put to the test. College admissions anxiety can often cloud the eyes of many 12th graders as well as the sadness that comes with leaving the comfort and security of all that they have known. Though the latter cannot be avoided, there are many strategies that revolve around early preparation and anticipation that can be put towards preventing the former. Here are a few simple steps that, when taken in sophomore or junior year, can help ease the stress of the college application process:
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At many times during our adult lives, we are asked to stand before a crowd and speak, deliver a presentation for work, or even offer a toast to a happy couple. Speaking in front of a group of people can make your palms sweaty and your heart starts to race. Without a podium to lean on, one can feel exposed and uncomfortable. Experience in the performing arts can empower students to express themselves in public forums with effectiveness, skill, and confidence for the rest of their lives
The study of mathematics involves the balance of procedural skill, fluency, conceptual understanding, and application. Engaging students to make sense of math, rather than teaching them to memorize concepts, helps create mathematical thinkers. An important key to understanding mathematical concepts is a problem-solving approach in the classroom.
The way students read, write, and access information has changed rapidly in our growing digital world. To meet the needs of 21st-Century learning, the role of the librarian is changing and libraries are transforming to better meet the needs of students. They are converting into flexible learning spaces to encourage the gathering and sharing of knowledge. Librarians continue to inspire a passion for learning and are also incorporating teaching strategies for students to navigate the digital world. Librarians encourage students’ learning in the following ways.
Did you know that swinging a hammer in a woodworking shop has a wide range of benefits for students? Woodworking provides the ability to identify a problem, brainstorm the possible solutions, and test your ideas. These skills lend themselves to all aspects of life, both inside the classroom and out. Woodworking classes have recently regained popularity because they build essential life lessons along with reinforcing math, science, and problem-solving skills. In fact, a study from Purdue University showed students benefited from participating in hands-on engineering projects. A woodworking program benefits students in the following ways:
Take a mental walk through a school music building. Listen to the stroke of a guitar, the rich harmonies from singing voices, and the dancing feet of preschoolers. Perhaps you can hear them all in succession as you walk down the hallway? A robust performing arts department welcomes a mixture of activities, a symphony of varying sounds, and a buzz of productive energy. Each and every student’s individual artistic journey can and should be supported by a performing arts program. As a music teacher in a department of which I am very proud, I hear students discussing their experiences in the performing arts, as well as prospective families trying to figure out the best place for their child. It is time to clarify some misconceptions and equip families with the right questions to ask.
When asked, "Should our family invest (i.e. pay tuition) in our children's early years of education or wait until "it counts" when they're in high school preparing to go to college?" Emphatically I say, "Invest in the early years." This is an incredibly difficult question for anyone to answer knowing that each and every learning stage is valuable; however, when posed with ranking when education "counts" most, it is absolutely and definitively during those first years of life, and here's why.