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Back to School Social Skills: Your Guide to a Successful New School Year



It’s a new school year! It’s a new beginning! It’s your chance to make it your best year ever!

It’s universally-accepted fact that young people who possess good social skills are more considerate, confident and successful in their lives; and they get along better with their friends, teachers, and family.

How you conduct yourself on the first day of school will set the tone for all the days and weeks that follow in the school year. Following are ten simple tips to ensure you have your best year ever:

1. Make a good first impression. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Dress appropriately; be well groomed (shoes polished, clothes clean and pressed; hair clean and cut in a flattering style; teeth brushed, et. cetera); and speak in a pleasant tone of voice, avoiding filler and junk words, such as  huh, hmm, you know, like, yeah.

If you look neat and sound articulate, your teacher will assume you are going to be student who turns in good work; and he/she will have a favorable impression of you from the very first day of school. It will color his/her thinking of you for the rest of the school year.

2. Be confident. Walk in the first day of school with your head held high, your shoulders back, and a smile on your face. People are attracted to, and interested in learning more about those who are confident in themselves.

3. Be friendly and introduce yourself. If you have a new teacher, or are going to be in a class with students whom you have not met, introduce yourself. Smile and say, “Hello, my name is John Johnson. I’m very pleased to be in your class.” Or, to a person you haven’t met, “Hello, my name is Susan Taylor. What is your name?”

4. Be positive. Attitude is everything!  Having the right attitude is essential for success and happiness. Expect that you will have a good year, and you will have a good year. Exhibit a friendly, positive demeanor, and people will be drawn to you.

5. Be respectful. To get respect, you have to give respect. Show respect for your teacher, classmates, rules, and yourself. You will be treated the way you treat yourself and others. It all begins with you!

 6. Be interested in others and the world around you. When you show that you are interested in others and the world around you–and not just yourself–others will want to get to know you, and you will make more friends.

7. Be kind. Being kind is one of the most important aspects of having good manners. Put yourself in the other person’s place, and treat others the way you would like to be treated. Kindness equals inclusiveness! It is the opposite of bullying.

8. Be courteous and attentive. It goes without saying that good manners and polite, attentive, courteous behavior make a good impression. Practice good manners in the classroom, in the hallways, and in the lunchroom.  Manners will help you get along with others and get through the day more easily. If you’re ever unsure about what to do in a particular situation, remember manners strive to make everyone around you feel comfortable, and take action based on that thought.

 9. Begin with the end in mind. If you know what you would like to accomplish for the school year, and you set goals for yourself, it will be much easier for you to work hard and resist peer pressure to put fun before work. And, you will feel a sense of pride in yourself when the year ends and you have achieved your goals.

 10.  Be a leader. Make the decision to lead rather than follow. By taking charge of your life, you will exhibit the confidence and purpose that will inspire others and make them want to follow you.


By: Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick

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