Jerry-Myers_12_26When I was in school one of the last thing that a teacher would say near the end of class was “Read Chapter…”  Sure the students were grabbing this and that and usually not paying attention to the teacher.  It did not matter that we had been discussing “Chapter…” during the class; Chapter whatever usually did not get read by some of the class.

I had learned something early when I was going to school, thanks to my Mom and Dad.  It was this; your teachers have put together a lesson plan to help you get to know the subjects, it is up to you to study your text books and read and learn.

Reading something and actually paying attention and studying what you read will form an image of understanding in your mind.  Some of the words that I encountered I did not fully understand, or in some cases had no idea what they meant.  I would look them up in my dictionary and try to come to some understanding of that word.  Usually reading the assignment over again would do the trick, and I found that I understood the subject matter.

I noticed that some of the students in class would stay strangely quite or try to bluff their way through a question if the teacher called on them.  At the time I did not think much of it, but later on I discovered that their lack of understanding was directly corresponding to the amount of effort that they put into their homework, and the reasons were varied and differed with each student.

I was not popular in school and was what some might label these days as a geek, and it did not help that I was two grades ahead of my classmates.  My IQ, I feel had little to do with it.  It was the way I studied.  It was all there for me because I loved to read and find things out.  I was a fixture at our local library on the weekday after school and on Saturdays.  I was looking up and reading the references I found in the footnotes of my textbooks.  I found the answers to the questions I had myself.

What was happening to most of my classmates was an all-important game of not looking stupid by not asking questions.  What is now called “fitting in” or when I was in school “Being Cool”, I feel that the entire bad attitude air is an off-shoot of this “Fitting in” due to the reason that 80 to 90 percent of after school time is spent playing at being social and doing minimal study or none at all.

The family dynamics play a big role in how a child dose in school, but it is the child’s own self-discipline or the degree there of that spells success or failure.  Reading the chapter is a good start.