Attitudes and Whatnot



What does it look like to be “The Best Student YOU Can Be”?


Below are 6 topics and subtopics we have identified to help you become the best you that you can be, and that if you consider and choose to implement, you will begin to see what positive change you can effect in your own lives and creating the present and future you wish to find.


  1. Time management and self-regulation: Procrastination, over-scheduling, or an inability to break down complex assignments often results in poorly researched/written assignments or inadequate studying (let alone time to ask questions or explore support services) Oftentimes we rebel against what we know to be right, just because we are too lazy to do the right thing. This happens when we have no clue how to self-regulate ourselves. Planning for study time, cleaning your room, sleeping, eating, spending time with friends, researching those things we don’t understand, and not putting off assignments until the last minute, or any of those thousand other things we need to do on a daily basis. Students, the success or failure of your career as a student begins and ends with guess who? You guessed it, YOU. The teachers provide lesson plans based on teaching you standards that enhance your ability to learn and also aid you on your journey as a student.  You might think to yourself, who cares? Well, the answer is easy, your parental units care about your success, your teachers care, the counselors care, and hopefully, you are thinking about your future and being successful.  YOU are truly the master of your fate, what will you do with your path? Take responsibility and learn to be the one in charge of you… I say this not to preach. I say this because all of the lessons planned, all of the examples provided, all of the notes you should be taking, won’t do squat if YOU don’t put the work in and practice, explore, and realize EDUCATION IS YOUR WAY OUT.


  1. Independence: Many students see “help-seeking” or "question-asking" as a weakness rather than a strength. No judgment here: I think independence is an admirable quality. Independence is when you take responsibility for your future.  Independence happens when you say to yourself, “I can do this, if I don’t understand it, I will Google it, I will ask myself all of the questions I would ask the teacher and then, DO IT.  But I want you to remember this, if in class you don't know something, ASK. Independent individuals learn when to seek out help and your teachers love to answer questions related to what you are studying, but do not ask inconsequential questions. (Don’t know what that means?  Lol, LOOK IT UP… Learn how to use a dictionary. Learn the websites that are the easiest to understand. Learn how to be a leader and help your classmates understand.  Learn to accept that independence is a great thing, you will start saying, I can do it myself, and my dear chickadees, you will.


  1. Self-Concept and Confidence: Students often make closed-end statements about their “abilities”, saying “This is how I write” or “I can’t do math” or “I am a 60s student”.  If I don’t believe that I can do better, why would I assess and revise my current strategies? Why would I invest more time and energy? Now, this situation is LOADED. If we have developed those negative thoughts, guess what? It makes them that much harder to break those patterns. What we need to do, is keep using the word YET in our vocabulary, I might not understand the multiplication tables. YET, but I will.  These chemical reactions are killing me I can’t do them, YET, but I will keep studying and reading and YouTubing all of these things I don’t know and I WILL.  You keep working at this and your confidence will bloom, I kid you not.  The work will pay off when you pay the dues (homework, classwork, labs, projects, videos, and exams. Those dues will show a good investment made when YOU realize that this thing we call education is actually fun.  There isn’t a single soul I know of that doesn’t want to learn in some form or fashion.  You just need to find the best way for you to be the BEST YOU THAT YOU CAN BE. Remember as well that your best is not the same as someone else’s best, we are all different, we are all talented in different areas, no worries… so what if you don’t pull straight A’s, why beat yourself up if 4 B’s, 2 A’s, and a C is your best… it's not trying to beat Smokey the Bear, but doing YOUR BEST.


  1. Embarrassment: What professionals say? If students are unhappy with their work, they may not want to show it to anyone. Wait, what?  Really?  If you really do your best work, and you can honestly say, “THIS IS MY BEST”, then be proud of it. Your classmates will appreciate how your mind thinks because they probably feel the same way too based on the past. So, kick embarrassment to the curb, you want your best you, not your “kinda-sorta-somewhat-you”, but that part of you that continues to seek to find and execute ways to win, regardless of what you are doing, and schoolwork is no exception.


  1. Strategic Decision Making (PLANNING FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE): Students make choices based on “value”. What value are we giving to the extra time and effort needed to improve assignments that require several revisions, like essays? Can we blame students if we accept poor quality? There is NO excuse to ever turn in crap work. There is no excuse to ever just half-do a paper/essay.  There is no excuse to just NOT do your work that is given by your caregivers or teachers. The excellence that you should be striving for does not come from being poorly prepared, poorly read-up, or poorly presented. If you accept trash work now, how will you ever learn what it is going to take to produce quality work in the future? You owe it to yourselves to put forth your best self, anything else is cheating you, cheating your teachers, and cheating your classmates out of the uniquely awesome and fantastic students YOU can become.  Chickadees, your FUTURE is now, the middle school will prepare you for high school. This one is really one of my pet peeves.  Anything that you do in this life needs to come from that part of you that continues to look forward and embraces learning for learning's sake.  The value that is received is based on what the teacher sees as your best work.  Math not so much, math is black and white, you either know it, or you don’t. Everything you do in math will continually build, the different things you learn in science and history are a sort of building block but not anything like math and math processes. The key to math, practice, practice, practice, practice, oh and then practice some more. Practice not only what you have to do but what you need to do to be comfortable with the concept before moving forward. History and Science require an understanding of the vocabulary, concepts, and the application of what you have learned.


  1. Motivation: Last, but certainly not least. Everyone is motivated to do what they’re doing and to not do what they’re not doing. John Hope Bryant raises the question: Have young people “‘checked out’ of the traditional educational system”? Check out his post, A Bold New Approach to Education: Aspiration-Based Learning (ABL).  Well now we come to the meat and potatoes of this thing called being your best self.  I know each and every one of you may have some form or something that you think is currently preventing you from doing your best. We are here to help remove those barriers and see you succeed.  So, have you checked out of learning?  Do you see value in getting a good education?  Your motivation does not come from us, it does not come from your parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts or uncles, it does not come from teachers varying instruction or even standing on their heads while twirling a baton.  Your motivation comes from that spot inside of you (that light of hope) that wants something better for yourself. We can’t give it to you but we can help nurture it. You have to meet us and we will work together to help you succeed. So what does motivation look like to you?

Additional Info


The following pdf's are for you to use for understanding and teaching your children how to overcome adversity. We all face ups and downs in life, it is what we do during the downtime that determines if we are going to be successful or fail.  The following guides are simply there to hopefully answer questions that maybe you have, helping you each deal with frustrations, and helping your children and our students, overcome the obstacles they face.   We are all in this together: parents, teachers, administration, counselors, and students are all integrally important to creating not only successful students but successful sons and daughters along the way.  The student must choose success.




First, let's talk about the 4R's of PBIS here at OAK HILL MIDDLE and here is what we have been focusing on for our students, staff, and faculty, presented to you with a brief description. 



Second, resilience, this is so important and we owe it to our students and children to help them bounce back from adversity and developing that will to survive and thrive. This document has 10 tips to help you work at developing grit and tenacity in your children.  Basically, we can't do everything for them, we have to give them room to fail, opportunities to succeed, and praise and unconditional love along the way. THEY MATTER and so do you: the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and guardians. 




Understanding emotions and recognizing our feelings are vitally important to be our best self. Understanding and recognition help you to learn to respond rather than react.




Things we can do or live by that will help us choose to do the right things in life.