Get Back to the Fundamentals!

Ray
Ray Henning, UNHS Academic Adviser

Fundamentals are the basic skills, techniques, etc. that serve as the foundation of any system. Being fundamentally sound is an essential if you want to be successful at something.

Throughout my years of coaching football, the team that was the most successful was usually the team that did the best in the basic fundamentals of blocking and tackling. Most football coaches plan to spend a significant part of their practice time developing or enhancing these essential skills with their players. If you are not fundamentally sound at blocking and tackling in football, you are going to struggle.

How are you in the basic fundamentals of being a good student?

Although this is not an exhaustive list, here are three standard fundamentals that can help lead you to academic success:

  1. A regular study schedule or routine
  2. A study environment that has minimal distractions
  3. Completing all required homework and assigned readings

Just as there are many additional skills in football besides blocking and tackling (i.e. passing the ball, catching the ball, rushing the passer, causing turnovers, etc.) there are also many other important skills in your development as a student: writing, reading and test taking to name a few.

After you set the foundation with the basic fundamentals, you can start working on these additional skills.

What academic fundamentals do you need to work on to help you be the best student you can be?

A Cheer For Cheerful Leaders

Debby
Debby Bartz, UNHS Academic Advisor

Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar—all for UNHS, stand up and holler!

This was a cheer my pep club pals and I exuberantly shouted before every sporting event in high school. We were excited and loud for the upcoming competition, and the cheerleaders led us in motivating the sporting teams.

Today, I treasure the cheerful leadership for the UNHS team. As years have seasoned me, I have come to truly value what I call a “cheerful” leader. These leaders have great qualities.

  • They have a spirit of kindness, providing joyful moments straight from the heart. It may catch you by surprise!
  • They find goodness in all aspects of living using the heart, head and hands to share cheerfulness.
  • They spread joy individually and within groups.
  • They have purpose, love learning and live every day to the fullest.
  • They network through kindness, helpfulness, happiness and positive vibes.
  • They allow fellow learners, workers, family and friends the freedom to perform to the best of their abilities and value individual strengths.

The University of Nebraska High School is lucky to have a cheerful leader in Barbara Shousha. Barbara encourages everyone to perform their best and values the challenge that each week brings. She overflows with all the characteristics of cheerful leadership.

What does being a cheerful leader mean to you?
What can you do this week to become a cheerful leader?

“Have You Met Any Actual Teenaged People?!”

Barbara
Barbara Wolf Shousha, UNHS Director

I did not ask this question. But I wanted to.

I had to bite my tongue as I listened to a group of adults discuss the teens at a nearby coffee shop table. The students under discussion were wearing earbuds and likely could not hear the remarks…

  • “They only care about their music and their phones.”
  • “They don’t take anything seriously.”
  • “They’re young; they don’t have to be serious. This is their time to be free of responsibilities.”

My kinder nature triumphed over snark, so I did not wade in to the strangers’ discussion. But I felt irritated because the conversation represented what I dislike about the two extremes in how our culture regards teenagers

  1. Either people judge teens as shallow and unserious or
  2. They pander to youth as too young to handle any actual responsibilities

To listen to some of the comments, you would think these adults were anthropologists examining some strange culture: “Observe, the teen….in it’s natural habitat…”

Here’s a tip: Teenagers are people. You can actually meet them and interact with them and learn about them as individuals.

As an educator, I have studied developmental theory and stages of development. I’ve read literature about adolescent brain development. But nothing substitutes for real experience.

We are fortunate to work with young people as they develop their academic and personal skills. We see students balance academics and sports and arts and volunteerism and family obligations and work.

Young, yes.
Unserious? Sometimes.
But they are not free from responsibilities.

We challenge students because we want the best from them and for them. We hold them accountable because we believe that they should want the best from themselves. We understand that they do not always want to learn verb forms and periodic elements. (We ARE nerds, but we are realistic nerds.) And yet, we see them step up and meet their responsibilities and do the work of becoming educated people.

We’re proud of them.

If you’d like to meet some of the actual teenaged people with whom we have worked, feel free to check out some of our student profiles.