Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
As you enter high school be ready to experience a plethora of new experiences, and be prepared for both the academic and social struggles of early adulthood. For your first day of high school it is important to enter the school year with the proper mindset because you don't want to start your freshman year in the worst way possible. Your first goal as a high school freshman is to really get to know your teachers, and try your best to develop the best relationship possible because this can be a great tool for your future success. Knowing your teachers and being aware of who you are can allow them to see you as more than just a name on a list, a number on a grade book, so PLEASE take the initiative to build that student to teacher relationship. Your next goal for your first day of freshman year is to really be observant of those around you and those whom you'll be friends with. Remember that those whom you become friends with should be people who add to your high school experience and not take away from.
Surround yourself with those who will not only accept you for who you are, but who will also assist in succeeding throughout high school. Some great advice that I can give you freshmans is to be prepared to work hard and not waste your time. High school is your chance to improve academically and to prove how much you’ve grown, being in high school is not about how many friends you have or how many parties you go to, it's all about learning about yourself and taking advantage of all the academic opportunities that this school offers.
High school is a tool that universities will use to see if you’re the type of person they want, so don't allow the shenanigans of high school to over power your priorities; however, that doesn't mean that you can't have fun, you definitely can, is just about the time and the place. Some positive aspects of high school are as follows: you'll have the opportunity to become more independent, you will also have the chance to meet new people, and grow from good and bad friendships, you will also learn how to advocate for yourself, which is something that I advise you to learn and become good at as soon as you can. Another positive of high school is that you're one step closer to college, so work hard and learn to succeed for yourself and your peers. Some negatives of high school include: all the failed friendships that will come from your experience in high school, all the endless nights of studying and working towards excellence, not getting along with the teachers, and not having the time to enjoy breaks because everything you do will be examined by all the colleges you apply too.
Freshmen enjoy your high school experience, work hard, study hard, and you will succeed. Congratulations and best of wishes on your new endeavour!
Class of 2021
It's crazy to me that the end of the year is upon us! Today is our last instructional day with seniors. While they are thrilled and overjoyed by this, I am certainly a bit nostalgic. It's hard not to feel like we've missed out on a lot of quality time together, just getting to know each other as IALCS community members and humans. Last year, Christina and Bianca M. came up with the brilliant idea of capturing student stories, art, and poetry through physical publication as a way to honor senior memories as IALCS students.
Now it's time to gather submissions, edit, and hopefully publish installation TWO of our Inwood Academy Quarantine Chronicle Series.
We will be opening our call for submissions this Friday, May 28th with a final deadline set for June 4th. We invite teachers to submit work on behalf of students (poetry, art, creative writing, multimedia entries) AND also invite staff to submit their own work. Our plan is to edit entries as they trickle in, post them online to our blog, and then allow seniors to design a book cover and select final pieces for publication before they graduate.
Our hope is to create a final product that'll capture some of the stories, heartbreak, and triumphs of this crazy year. As our school's student leaders, the seniors will curate the design and flow of the book. Help us make this a reality by submitting work from your classroom (all grades welcome, and at all stages of the writing process).
12th Grade ELA Teacher
Dear Incoming Freshmen,
You're probably nervous as hell, wondering if you're going to make friends? If you're going to have a good experience? Or maybe if you’re going to be liked? That feeling is probably never going to leave you. However, don't let it change you. What I mean by that is just be yourself and let things flow naturally. It's a good idea to open up when it feels right. Not forced. Just right. You’ll know because you’ll be engaged in the conversation to the point where when you leave it you’ll be like I want that person to be with me for the long run.
The best thing about high school is the amount of options you can choose to be a part of and build a support system with. The people who hold you down when you need it the most emotionally. Another is the relationships you build with your teachers. I can't tell you the amount of times a teacher has helped me out by either taking time out of their free time to help me understand something or just acting as an ear for me and helping me on what to do. You just have to give them a chance. They're not there to work against you.
The negative thing about high school is that at the end of the day there's always going to be someone with an opinion. You just have to learn to not let it get to you and not to give them more ammunition. There are always going to be people who just don't like you for no reason or because of who you associate with. But that's okay, that's their views not yours.
A goal to keep in mind is remaining consistent. Things in high school can seem easy then hard then back to easy. Try to when the easy time comes don't slip up because it can get hard really quickly. Another goal is be confident in yourself. Trust yourself you'll never steer yourself down the wrong path. Maybe a hard one but nothing you can’t get through.
OH, and when the school has a class that helps you with building a resume or looking into colleges or expanding your vocabulary… don’t slack and say but I don't need this right now. Because when you do need it you’ll be a step ahead.
Dear IALCS 9th Graders,
I am writing this letter to give you my experience, my ups and downs. I hope by reading this, it’ll be some sort of guide for you during these weird COVID19 times. Most importantly, I hope it will prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did. How I remember my first day as an IAL freshman.
It was so terrifying, and really scary. I didn’t know anybody there, what made it worse. Mostly everybody knew each other from the previous Middle School. That pretty much made me a new kid whom nobody had known about or who wanted to get to know. But eventually I found my group of friends--and that's been the secret to my happiness at IAL. I know many of you will walk into school feeling like everyone else is pretty much mean and horrible. You will be tempted to be antisocial and quiet because of this. The reality is that everyone else feels just like you do right now, in need of friends and unsure of where they fit it.
Not gonna lie, Inwood Academy is pretty great. Once you get comfortable and get a few friends, you really feel like you're chilling with family except for the classes and homework part. Yes, high school will suck sometimes because of the homework and friend drama but this will also help you grow up. My advice to you, stand up for yourself, stand up to those who are wrong in certain situations. Even if that person is a teacher stand your ground. First day of high school, listen to what the teachers are telling you because a lot of what they said is true. For instance, about the grades, they aren’t lying when they inform you that grades are important. As a senior looking back now, I wish I would have aimed for that higher grade and earned more credits along the way so that this year would be more chill. Under COVID lockdown, rushing to get these grades up and credits approved sucks.
The hardest part about being a high schooler is learning to respect yourself and stand your ground. If your experience is anything like mine, you will realize that ultimately you are the only guaranteed constant in your own life. You shape your future, you get to control what you do throughout the 4 years in high school. Till then, cherish the time you have with your friends. Make memories that you will never forget. Memories that you will cherish forever.
With the best of luck,
What is it like, being a teenager in quarantine?
To be honest, it is like hell on Earth.
It is feeling stranded or isolated
even though you are surrounded by family.
You miss things like the outside world, your friends, and life before the quarantine all the time.
No matter how much you wish for it to be “like the old days,”
you have to realize those times are gone.
But don’t worry, it’ll be alright.
It is feeling stressed
over things that won’t matter 5 years down the road.
It is constantly feeling bored
because it seems you are living the same day over and over again.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
But don’t worry, it’ll be alright.
It is feeling scared
for your family, for your friends, and your own wellbeing.
Months have passed
and quarantine is over.
You survived it,
you survived all the feelings, the hardships, and misfortunes.
Being a teenager in quarantine was tough,
but everything did turn out to be alright.