SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Lessons For the Classroom From the 2012 Summer Olympic Games

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are a wonderful opportunity for young students to see, up close and personal, the results of hard work and determination. It’s also a great way to make a connection between games and school success.

Every young child understands that games have rules. Similarly, a large part of school success is knowing the rules and following them.  Simple rules—that everyone follows—make sense to a young child.

Equating school success to a “game” puts the perspective on a more personal level. Some lessons you can help your child draw from the current summer games include:


  • It’s ok to fail! Most Olympic champions have failed many times as they’ve perfected their skills. They’ve “picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and started all over again.”


  • Be a contributing part of the “team.” Make an effort to work well with classmates and teachers.


  • Practice, practice, practice until you get it right.


  • Don’t quit, even when you are tired. 


  • Be a humble and thankful winner.


  • Be a smiling and gracious loser.


While there can only be one Olympic gold medal winner per event, all athletes—or young students—can take enormous, joyful pride in achieving a “personal best.”

Editor's note: Print our free Summer Olympics worksheets and coloring pages for your little champion to use!



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