MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 24
"Justin, can I have a word with you?" asks Ms. Spencer.
"Yeah, sure, I guess," I tell her, all the while dreading it.
"Justin," Ms. Spencer begins, "I want to talk to you about your work. I know, and hopefully you do too, that you are a very bright student. However, it seems like you are really not trying. You're a good student, and you should be doing 'A' work in this class, not getting by with 'B's', or worse. I've always believed that 'Good enough is not enough'…and I think this especially applies here, don't you?" said Ms. Spencer.
As I walk out of the room, I'm not really sure how to feel. I know deep down that Ms. Spencer is right. My mom has said stuff like this, too. I'm not even sure why I haven't taken my schoolwork more seriously.
I think about the quote Ms. Spencer told me, "Good enough is not enough" and I realize, maybe I'm losing out on stuff by not putting forth more effort in school. "I guess if I want people to know I'm smart, I'll have to start acting like it," I decide.
This week's maxim is "Good enough is not enough".
- "Good enough is not enough."
Featured character trait
- Excellence - I try my hardest and do my best.
Character points (for substitution if this week's trait isn't one of your school's core values)
- Commitment - I am stay focused on my goals and work hard.
- Self-discipline - I am in control of myself and makes choices that go along with my goals.
- Motivation - I am determined; I work to put forth my best effort.
- Effort - I work hard and try to do my best.
- Determination - I am willing to work, to try, to fail, and to continue in my goal of doing my best.
- Aspiration - I have goals and hopes that I work to achieve.
Discussion starters / journal writing prompts
- Do you ever find that you are not trying your hardest?
- Why is it important to try and give your best in school? How about in other areas of life, like with friends and family?
- In what areas of your life do you feel like you could do better if you tried harder?
- Justin needs to focus his efforts to do better in school. What are could he do to improve his efforts in school?
- Sometimes we feel pressure to do too much. Do you think there is such a thing as putting too much pressure on yourself?
- Sometimes, doing your best just means putting in place some good habits. What are some good habits that can help a job get done well without too much extra work?
- What are some ways of striking a balance between planning for the future and being patient with yourself in the present?
- Do you agree with this week's maxim? What other situations could it apply to?
Five tips for maxim-izing your family time
- Let your kids know that you have to work at things, too. If you have strategies for putting forth your best effort that you think would work for them, share those. Take the time to help them practice putting those strategies into place.
- Brainstorm ways of dealing with times that you are unfocused or unmotivated. How do you push yourself to keep on working when things are difficult? How do you know when you are running in place and that a break is a good idea?
- Talk about what kind of pressure you feel to do a good job. Have everyone talk about how much pressure they feel is on them to do their best, and discuss whether the pressure is healthy or unhealthy.
- Brainstorm about reasons it is important to give your all. List the "lessons beyond the lessons" that come from hard work in school and dedication in other areas of your life.
- Talk, as a family, about what some positive outcomes that can come out of striving for excellence in life and work. Discuss some benefits you have personally seen in doing well, and going above and beyond.
- What kinds of obligations do you have?
- Do you feel like you are under a lot of pressure?
- Do you sometimes feel like there is not enough to keep you motivated?
- Is there such a thing as "good stress?" Describe good stress as you see it?
- Justin knows that he isn't giving his all when it came to his schoolwork. Why do think that is the case?
- What motivates you to give your best? What are the benefits of giving your best?
- It would be impossible to give 100% to everything and anything in life. How can you prioritize so that you are better able to be "excellent" on the things that are important in your life?
- Do you ever feel like even when you do give your best effort, it's not enough? How can you identify when you've done all you can in a situation?
- How can we let each other know when we feel "lost in the shuffle" of daily obligations, commitments, and crises?
Be sure to acknowledge the courage your children show in talking with you about these issues.
- Tips on improving study habits and getting organized
- Examples of Minority Role Models, real stories of success and perseverance
- HomeworkCentral: Lesson Plans (Teaching Study Skills)
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