Learning Good Habits Early

  • Video Overview:

    Eduardo is 8 and wants to go to college and be a scientist. Lisandro is 9 and hopes to do something with airplanes. At 10 years old, Adriana wants to pass every grade and then become a police officer.

    All three of these children have big dreams and are learning early how to make them come true. Lisandro believes, “School is very important because we can get good jobs. You don’t want to be in McDonald’s or having a job like that … and knowing that you could have a job as a lawyer or a pilot.” Eduardo comments, “Some kids think it’s boring, but then when they’re 13, they don’t even know how to write and how to read.”

    Elementary school sets the stage for school success. Missing school in the early grades can start a downward spiral: A child who misses school at a young age is more likely to have increased absences as he or she gets older. This leads to feeling left behind and embarrassed. Why does 9-year-old Cindy come to school? “The kindergartners do it because of the prizes, but when you’re in fourth grade or in fifth, you do it because you want to. And that’s why I do it, because I want to.”

    Discussion Questions

    1. In the beginning of the segment, what are some of the dreams that the children have? Are these dreams realistic for them at this age? Why or why not?
    2. How does elementary school “set the stage for success?” How does middle school set the stage for success in high school?
    3. What does 9-year-old Cindy say is her main reason for attending school? Are your reasons the same or different?

    Self-Reflection Questions

    1. Are you following the same dreams you had when you were younger? Why or why not? How have your dreams changed?
    2. What are the “prizes” for staying in school beyond elementary school?


    Eyes on the Prize

    Using the Eyes on the Prize worksheet, write about how your schoolwork will set the stage for lifelong success. What are the ”prizes,” both tangible and intangible, that you envision for your future? What will your prize be at the end of this school year? What will your prize be at the end of high school?

    NOTE: Teachers can collect these reflections and return them at the end of the school year to remind students of their objectives and desires.

  • Academic Success

    About the Program

    Young children learn that education sets the stage for life long success.

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