Dear College Preparatory English 11 Parents:
As I am sure you know, junior year is extremely important in the academic career of college-bound students. This is the year that colleges will focus on when considering admission, and this is the year when we specifically address the skills necessary for success at the next level.
It is normal for students to be a little overwhelmed when first making the transition from 10th to 11th grade. The expectations begin to be that of a young adult. It is important that as parents and teachers we help and guide them through this difficult and sometimes confusing transition.
As I am sure you know, two years seems like forever to a teenager; college is some fuzzy destination on the horizon. Their friends, movies, and music – that’s the right now for them; school is mostly a social activity or an inconvenience. Of course, we know that two years flies by, college is right around the corner, and building their skills now is important to their future. Together we need to impress upon them that what they do today does matter.
Students need to be actively involved in their education. They need to do homework; they need to work to do their best not just to get it done; reading for school is not like reading for pleasure – they need to pay more attention to detail, take notes, reread. Good writing is not just what is written on the paper first but requires revision and consideration of audience and purpose. Students need to pay attention to what is going on in class and recognize they won’t love it all or find everything interesting, but it is still important. They need to take initiative and be proactive – asking questions and expressing themselves appropriately. They need to self-advocate. These are habits that will serve them well in college and life. If now isn’t the time to develop these habits, then when?
I sincerely want to help your children become better readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. They have the potential to grow in these areas and be successful. We all know people with lots of potential, but habits and actions are what transform the potential for success to the reality of success. I believe that together, you and I, we can help the students understand the importance of committing to their success and the important role they play in their education.