The time a student spends at school is an investment. Aside from education, there are a set of skills students gain once they’ve left the classroom. These skills will prepare them to navigate the world. Learning to recognize whether a student is thriving or surviving at school can help reinforce these faculties and set them up for success. The following three criteria are things to look for in a student to gauge whether they are a thriving child at school.
A student’s organizational skills are an excellent benchmark of their ability to thrive at school.
The state of their backpack can be a clear indicator of their organizational habits. Crumpled papers, half-finished assignments, and a generally overloaded pack show a fundamental lack of organization abilities. Lack of organization is often symptomatic of a struggling student.
Organization isn’t just about learning to stay tidy. Well-developed organizational skills go hand in hand with cognitive development. Literacy, math, and reading are all ordered, rule-bound, and focus driven learning tasks. Having the discipline and ability to compartmentalize and retrieve information of this nature is built upon the ability of a student to physically keep the world around them in order. Furthermore, many studies have shown a link between stress and impaired cognitive function. Though a student may not be aware of it, clutter and disorganization can increase their stress level.
There are many ways to assist a student in developing organizational skills. Day planners and checklists help to focus on and tackle tasks in a focused manner. Occasional guided backpack clean-outs can help a student learn how to maintain order and stay organized. This will reduce stress and increase their productivity and opportunity to thrive at school.
A student’s ability to thrive at school is also linked to their ability and willingness to communicate with their parents and teachers. Fostering an environment where a child is comfortable and confident in asking for help and expressing their needs is crucial. Many students are afraid to communicate due to shame, embarrassment, or fear. A child who remains quiet or gives brief, answers to questions about what’s going on at school may be struggling. Encouraging students to communicate openly, honestly, and effectively at home will allow them to carry that communicative ability into the classroom.
Letter grades and test scores are useful assessments of a student’s progress. However, they are far from the only mark of a thriving student. The classroom immerses students in a group of their peers, giving them prime opportunities to develop and hone appropriate social skills. Thriving students can maintain a balance between their work and social needs. With guidance students can learn to prioritize the two when necessary. Many elementary relationships don’t last a lifetime. The skills acquired from forming and maintaining the friendships do. The student’s ability to navigate social situations later in life come from these friendships. This also teaches students how to engage with and foster a network of support around them.
The skills your student learns in school will set them up for success for life. Understanding your child’s organizational, communicational and social skills can help you gauge if they are thriving at school.