"Welcome back," they say, on that very first day. They say it with a smile and twinkle in their eye. Those teachers...they know. They know something amazing is coming! There’s hope and possibility walking arm in arm. Optimism befriends realism, and together they sit at the table of fantasy to plot the future. Energy is bursting out of every hall, every classroom, every car ride, every practice, and every family dinner. All things are possible. It is another year. It is another chance. It’s new. It’s the fresh slate that we all need. This isn’t just about the next grade or getting a year older. This is about progressively realizing potential, sharpening skill sets, finding purpose, and living our best life. The greatest part: we’re in it together. When September rolls around, we all go back to school.
So how can we make the most of it? How can we get closer to one another and support one another so we all grow? How do we hold each other accountable and inspire one another?
We believe the best way to get the most out of this amazing time of year is together! To help put this sentiment into action, we created a fun tool. If you click the link, it will download the Back to School Game Plan. Think of this as something fun to do as a family all together at the dinner table and then to revisit periodically throughout the school year. To be clear, this isn’t just for students in grade school. We’re all students each and every day, and we’re all headed back to school. Parents should participate too, and everyone should be helping one another stay on track.
1.What are our goals?
To get the best results, everyone sitting at the table should write their own goals and share them with one another. Remember results need to be measurable, so be specific with your wording. Set at least one goal in each of the four areas of life. For our purpose, we will use musical goals, but these could obviously translate to something different for everyone.
Physical (Exercise, Technique)
- I am going to play through my pentatonic scales with 16th notes at 120 BPM.
Spiritual (Reflective, Creative)
- I am going to spend five minutes a day just playing my instrument, just for fun, just for me at least five days a week.
Reading – I am going to memorize the finger patterns for all twelve keys on the piano
Social (Service, Community)
- I am going to join my school band.
2.When and who should check in?
Why is it important to have a music teacher? Of course we all know you could learn from YouTube, but a teacher, like any coach, checks up on you weekly, knows your strengths and weaknesses, sees what you can’t see, and is dedicated to seeing you reach your goals. The BTS Game Plan works in the same way. Think of this as something to talk about in the car rides home, or over dinner. Decide how often you want to check in, and set or write reminders in your personal calendar. Remember, we’re all helping each other here; and because of this, if you have a big family, it can get to be really fun.
3. When will we reach our goals?
The deadline is important, whether we reach the goal or not. The most important thing is that we can track our progress and see what steps we took and what steps we still need to take. Set deadlines as a family, check up on one another, and then pick a day when you will all sit down together to revisit the game plan.
4. When will we set new goals?
After revisiting, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, energize and encourage, and then, most importantly, walk away for a period of time. This is important because if we don’t take a step away, we can easily loose clarity and appreciation for how far we’ve come. Instead of jumping right back in, set a day in the calendar when you will sit down together and make a new Game Plan.
My family and I will be making our own BTS Game Plan, and I’ve set the date in my personal calendar of December 7 to revaluate how we did and begin writing an update for everyone. Please share this with any family or friends who may benefit from it, and feel free to share with us any insights, tools, or habits you do as a family that helps keep every one working together.