Back To School Advice

Today one of the next generation’s great leaders, Anna Dodd, started middle school.  In an effort to provide additional direction and intentionality to her life, the following is the advice I gave her as she began this next journey towards adulthood. 

  1. Learning Is A Privilege – Most children in the world do not have the access to the quality education we do in America.  Therefore, I do not want her to take this opportunity for granted.  To have teachers who dedicate their lives to expanding my daughter’s mind is something we need to appreciate and take advantage of.
  2. Pay Now and Play Later or Play Now and Pay Later – The key thing I want Anna to know is that whatever she chooses to do later, she will do more of.  There is a Law of Compounding results.  As a result, I advised her to properly utilize study hall for homework and not social time.  Also, if she does a little bit of homework each evening, she can enjoy her weekends.  I want her to understand the value of good investments. 
  3. Respect Authority and Listen To The Teacher – This also falls under the heading of learning is a privilege.  Those who respect and honor authority will be blessed.  Those who rebel against authority will suffer alternative consequences.  I do not want Anna to be reduced to a level of mediocrity by participating in the foolishness of rowdy classmates but rather focus on the learning experience. 
  4. Make Others Better – Anna is a great student.  As a result, I have always taught her to utilize her extra time to get ahead on projects as well as helping others catch up when needed.  This is part of what I feel God is doing in raising her up to be a great servant leader.
  5. Prepare Or Repair – How Anna utilizes her evenings will greatly determine the quality of the following day.  Did she properly pack her backpack? Has she gotten her parents to sign all the appropriate papers? Is her homework done? Is she getting enough sleep so her mind will be alert and she will have high energy the following day? Is she going to prepare or repair because one or the other will take place?

As I think about the advice I gave Anna, it reminded me that every good lesson in life we probably all learned at an early age.  Join the conversation.  As parents, we are all learning together.  None of us has all the answers.  Tell us how you are helping prepare your children for the upcoming school year?

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

4 Responses to “Back To School Advice”

  1. Fredina Anderson Reply 08/11/2010 at 10:36 AM

    Great advice. I’m a middle school teacher. Oh, if only more parents gave such advice, Brian. It’s good for me to remember too.

    • Fredina,

      Thank you for the comments. I bet you are a fabulous teacher. With Anna now being in middle school, I could only hope she would have a teacher with the heart that you do. I hope you have a great year!!! See you Sunday.


  2. Really amazing advice…I wish I had such guidance growing up!

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