Customer Service Part II

handshakeA couple months ago, I was reviewing the scheduled blogs. I knew I was several weeks ahead. When I saw the customer service blog, I had to smile. This brought to mind an incident of poor customer service and how it affected me.

February 11. I’m at my parents’ and ready to go home. The car won’t start and I have to borrow their car. What the mechanic discovered was a circuit/fuse box was corroding because of the water and snow and ice off a tire. It had affected the circuit that controlled the spark plug and a lot of the other wires were corroded. He made a temporary repair, but I was driving on borrowed time.

I asked Firestone about a new part. $700. Just for the freakin’ part! My next option was to search the salvage yards and see if one could be found. The first place I tried had it. Sam’s Riverside. I stopped by on Thursday, February 15. The guy said I could pick up the part the next Tuesday and that he’d call to let me know he had it.

The following Tuesday, he didn’t call, so I called him. He didn’t have it but he’d check on in it and let me know. My hope was I could get the part and possibly have the car fixed and ready to go to Black Belt Camp on the 23rd. That didn’t happen and the next day, my car developed problems on the way to class and didn’t start afterward. So, now I’m stuck in Oskaloosa. A friend let me stay and drove me home and to work. I Ubered to a car rental place to rent a car.

Jump ahead to the 26th. Monday. I call Sam’s and explain to the first guy that I was still waiting to hear about the part. He puts me on hold. Minutes later, another guy picks up the phone and asks who I am holding for. When I explain again, he says that he just asked about that. He had been checking open ticket from the previous week and had just inquired about it. They hadn’t been able to get to it because of the weather the previous week but that he’d check on it. Later that afternoon, when I called I was told that they couldn’t find the car to remove the part. They had moved inventory and were looking for it. The guy told me he’d let me know Tuesday and if he couldn’t find it then, he’d search around and find the part somewhere and call me on Wednesday.

Wednesday, I start calling other places. The fourth place I called, Don’s Auto (just up the road from Sam’s), had the part and said they’d have it pulled within an hour. Actually it was more than 90 minutes, but he called back and said he had it at the desk. I stopped and picked it up and began making arrangements to have it installed.

My point about customer service is: Sam’s has a sign that one can’t miss tacked to the column at the desk. It lists the reasons businesses lose customers. I don’t remember all of it, but 1% die, 5% move, and so on. The last one in big letters said 70% of customer go somewhere else when the business has an apathetic attitude toward the customer. That’s what I felt they did with me. They told me they were really busy. Apparently, so busy that they couldn’t keep me updated.

Don’s also had a customer service sign: Take care of your customer, or someone else will.

Don’s did take care of the customer and they earned my thanks.

UPDATE:

Written about a week after the original was written. Unfortunately, there some other problems with my car and I thought the part from Don’s didn’t work. I ended up going back to Sam’s and they had ordered a part (still didn’t call until after I called a week later), but ended up getting another part…which I need to return.

My point is, Sam’s came through a little late but without an update and not in a timely manner. I’m still not completely happy and probably won’t return to them if needed again.

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Customer Service

c2e15ac69038577a57173702af976fd8--customer-service-week-customer-experienceI was going to write a series of blogs on Customer Service. I’ve had this paper around for awhile and just didn’t take the time to look it over and sit down and write the series. Reviewing the paper, I realized, I didn’t need to expand on the notions, just type them verbatim. So, here it is:

9 Tips on Providing Excellent Customer Service

Excellent customer service can create loyal customers for life who are willing to refer your business to friends, family, and colleagues.

Providing customer service starts with a genuine desire to delight your customers, but you also have to think beyond selling your product or service. You need to consider the cumulative experience your customers have when they visit your store or website, what they think and feel, and what you can do to make it better.

1. Know Your Product/Service

In order to provide good customer service, you need to know what you’re selling, inside and out. Make sure you know how your product or service works. Be aware the most common questions customers ask about your products, and know how to articulate the answers.

2. Be Friendly

As they say, customer service starts with a smile. When you are in a face-to-face situation, a warm greeting should be the first thing your customers see and hear when they ask for help. And even when handling customer service requests via telephone, a smile can come through in your voice, so make sure you’re ready to be friendly.

3. Say Thank You

Gratitude is memorable, and it can remind your customers why they shopped at your store or hired your company. Regardless of the type of business you have, saying thank you (not Tanks) after every transaction is one of the easiest ways to start a habit of good customer service.

4. Train Your Staff

It’s important to make sure all of your employees, not just your customer service representatives, understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and problem solve for customers. Provide employee training that gives your staff the tools they need to carry good customer service through the entire customer experience.

5. Show Respect

Customer service can often involve emotions, so it’s important to make sure you and others you have handling your customer service tasks are always courteous and respectful. Never let your own emotions overtake your desire to see your customer walk away happy.

6. Listen

Listening is one of the simplest secrets of customer service. Listening means hearing what your customers are saying out loud, as well as what they are communications non-verbally. Watch for signs that they are displeased, as well as what say to you directly.

7. Be Responsive

There may be nothing worse than non-responsiveness to a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what you’re selling. It’s important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none so the customer doesn’t feel ignored.

8. Ask for Feedback

You may be surprised what you learn about your customers and their needs when you ask them what they think of your business, products, and services. You can use surveys, feedback forms and questionnaires, but you can also make it a common practice to ask customers first-hand for feedback when they are completing their orders.

9. Use Feedback You Receive

You need to to do something with the feedback you receive from customers in order to make it useful in your customer service process. Take time to regularly review feedback, identify areas for improvement, and make specific changes in your business.

Good customer service often comes down to consistently checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with not only the products and services you’re selling, but also the process of purchasing, ordering, working with your, etc. If you do that successfully, you are on your way to becoming known for providing excellent customer service.

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Stay Positive

Stay positiveHow do you stay positive in the face of obstacles and problems? Here’s how some of my students have:

STELLA

I deal with adversity and obstacles by keeping on trying. I sometimes get upset and frustrated and sometimes want to quit, but I keep trying. When I was learning to tie my shoes, I was scared at first and a little upset, but after I tried it a few times and figured out I could do it, I was happy and excited that I had learned something new. When I was at the pool and wanted to try the water slide, I was scared even though my mom, dad, and brother were all riding it. I thought it was too fast and scary. I eventually got up the courage to try it and thought it was really fun and went down it like 100 times.

DREW

My mom always tells me to stay positive. I try to listen, but sometimes it’s hard. Like everyone else, I have problems, and everyone has problems, even small ones.

One of them is school which I find difficult. At times there’s school work for firsts, always stressing me out and taking up my time to relax. I also don’t like bullies, even if it’s not me being targeted. It just really annoys me to see someone hurting another because it makes them feel good. But there’s one thing I can tell myself to stay positive, “It won’t change until you do something.”

Beside that, I also have problems at home. Things can get pretty negative there, but I make due. One thing I can look forward to in the future is being able to travel back to Japan, where we can be a hole family again.

Although it’s hard to stay positive, it would be better than the negatives. You’re less energetic when you’re sad and you’ll think less and make terrible mistakes. That’s why you got to think about the positives and not the negatives.

BRENDAN

Well, once when I got a hard math assignment, I got frustrated. I felt I couldn’t do it. So, I asked my Nana for help. After she explained it, it made sense. Then I was able to do my math assignment.

Sometimes, when I’m trying to learn something, I want to give up because I can’t do it. Well, I feel then, like I couldn’t do it. But, if I can take a time out from it, then usually it can be done.

Repetition – like I learned to tie my shoes or roller skate or ride a bike.

Positive reinforcement helps!

Sometimes I pray about difficult things to get easier.

DEACON

I have to deal with adversity everyday of my life and I really do not like it. Sometimes, in taekwondo I have to practice a different move. This is how I stay positive in stuff like taekwondo. First, I think about something to cal me down. Then, I keep trying and trying and keep doing my best and if I don’t give up, I succeed at the taekwondo moves.

At school when I have something hard to do, I might ask my friends to help with the task. When my friends volunteer to help me, it makes it not so hard as it is being done alone. If I can’t do something because I’m hurt, then my friends help me right away without waiting and I’m happy that they will do that for me.

When I first hear I would learn division, I thought I could not do it. But when my parents made me do it, I got better at it. I started to pass tests on division and multiplication. I was glad I finished division facts on my own without anyone helping me.

AMBER D

Overcoming obstacles and adversity is hard and it’s hard to stay positive when things happen. However, after a moment (no more) of being down or whatever, you have to look at yourself and decide, “Am I going to let this get the best of me?” or am I going to do something about it and use it as a learning experience. We can take the difficulties and see them as opportunities to better ourselves, learn to grow.

AMBER

My biggest stay positive is when things get tougher and challenging, I want to just give it up. I feel I can’t do it or everyone is better at it than me.

I have learned staying with karate and focusing and practicing and listening to my coaches. I will get better at it. Also, my teachers at school said when I started karate, I had a more positive attitude and not as shy as I used to me and I speak up more. I have learned you don’t have to always whine and it takes practice at everything.

SALEENA

My stay positive is at school. I’ve had struggles with math and reading is my biggest challenge. I like to give up on it and I get real upset trying to understand it.

I know I have to try to stay positive and know it will get better for me the more I practice at it. I try to stay happy and positive at school. I have realized it’s not worth it to give up, then you will never learn.

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Self Control

self controlHow my students exhibit self control.

AMBER

Self control is working on my anger and not to hit or kick my friends when I’m mad. My self control is to have responsibility for my actions. My self control is how to learn to calm myself down when I’m upset.

Self control is to practice on my karate moves. Self control is to listen to my teachers and what they are telling me. Also, self control is telling someone I’m sorry if I did something I shouldn’t have done to my friends.

Self control on my emotions and feelings. To talk to someone if something is bothering me and also let someone know if someone is giving me problems or are picking on me.

SALEENA

I learn self control in the things I do. I’m in control of doing the right choices and of my actions and not making bad choices. I’m in self control on working hard and practicing, so I can get better.

Also being responsible control. Controlling our emotions when we are very upset with someone that we don’t do something that we shouldn’t do and control words we should not use, especially b ad words when we’re mad at someone. Also working out tough situations we deal with at school and home.

BRENDAN

I think it means not getting irritated when things don’t go my way. Letting someone else go first when I really want to. Not yelling or talking back when I’m angry. Staying and listening when I get upset and want to leave. Doing stuff I don’t want to do, calmly.

ELIJAH

I have exhibited self control at school. While playing soccer during recess, someone got ran over. I told him to be careful and he shoved me to the ground. Instead of returning the favor, I walked away and told the teacher on duty what happened.

Another place I have exhibited self control is at taekwondo practice when my sister Noelle and I are sparring. We get caught up in it and it could easily go too far, but we have to use self control to keep it from getting too aggressive.

Self control isn’t always used to prevent something negative from happening, it can also be used to help people do positive things. For example, when I am playing basketball, I use self control when using the proper form to shoot, instead of just just throwing it up there and hope it goes in.

All over the community I witness self control. Some use it well, but other don’t Be the bigger person and use self control wisely.

NOELLE

Self-control is an extremely essential attribute to have. The definition of self control is ‘the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.’ In my own words, that means being able to control your feelings and actions whenever and wherever you are. However, this is easier said done.

When you exhibit self control, it is always important to realize no one is perfect. Also, making a plan of what to do in any situation helps a lot. Self control can be shown anywhere you are; whether it be at church events, at school, weightlifting, at youth group, playing sports, or even at your local Walmart! Though it may seem like it is a useless quality that you will find anywhere you go, self control is vital; and like every characteristic is that is vital, it is not always easy to exhibit.

Yes, using self control can be extremely hard, but an attempt should always be made to exercise self control, no matter what situation you find yourself in. Here are a few examples of when it would be a good time to exhibit self control from my personal experiences.

* At school, rather than talking to my friends (which seems much more appealing to me) I use self control during class to pay attention to the teacher(s) and do my assigned homework.

* At home, when I’m working on my homework and my brothers begin to annoy me, rather than yelling at them and letting myself get aggravated, I do my best to keep cool and exhibit self control. Though I’m not often successful, trying to calm down is always one of the most important steps. (Failure leads to success.)

* When I’m playing sports, (any sport, actually) I can use self control by keeping my temper in check when it seems the referees are making unfair calls against our team. Self control is not always used to keep something bad from happening, though. Sometimes (for example, when I’m about to serve in volleyball) I must use self control to properly serve the ball and concentrate while I’m doing so.

* When weightlifting, self control is crucial because if you lift without the proper form, you can easily damage your back and/or other muscles. Also, some people, if they’re hurt, need, when they’re weightlifting, to reduce the weights for awhile. You should never overload yourself; self control applies to very many things.

* You can even use self control at Walmart! When you are going shopping and are hungry, usually, you tend to buy more food than if you hadn’t been. If you are shopping at Walmart and see those Little Debbie treats down the aisle, self control will help you to turn away from the treats and buy more healthy/useful items. When I go sopping anywhere, I always find myself longing to have something that’s on sale. Then I ask for it and that usually drive my parents crazy. In order to ignore the temptation, I have to use self control. It really does help!

When you’re exhibiting self control, it doesn’t matter the place or the time. Self control applies to everything – from good thoughts to bad, tempting thoughts! However it is not self control if it’s somebody else controlling you. Self control is all on you; it’s your choice to make; it’s your own self control. When you exhibit self control, you can’t expect someone else to keep you calm. Self control is all about you controlling your own self: you emotions, your actions, your words, etc.

Self control. We all long to live in a life without temptation, but sin has entered our hearts and we fail to see the big picture. God gave us a gift that we can use to withstand temptation. Now all we need to do is use it.

STELLA

I think good self control is keeping your hands to yourself and not getting in other’s space. I think I do good with self control at class by sitting still and not messing around while other students are breaking boards or testing. I also have been trying to do better at standing at attention during the bow in. I also think eating healthy is a good way to show self control. I always eat fruits, vegetables, and meat for lunch and supper to make me healthy. I can have candy, cookies, ice cream once in awhile but not too much. I like chocolate and candy and it can be hard sometimes to not eat too much. Also if someone is making me upset, I try to ask them to stop nicely even if I want to punch them in the nose. I don’t want to get in trouble too, just because they are being naughty. I want to keep practicing and training hard to get my black belt.

AMBER D

In my line of work, I have to exhibit self control all of the time. I can’t throw a fit or argue with inmates when they don’t do what I ask. I have to control my frustration to diffuse the situation. In school, I have to have self control by making myself write extra or do extra research instead of the bare minimum. I have to have self control when eating as well. As much as I may want to eat a whole cheesecake, I limit myself and have control over my impulses.

DEACON

You have control of yourself, meaning you do what you know you should when you don’t want to, even though you want to do something else and give up on your assignment and do the other thing instead, like if you can do soccer, or play football, if you like, or lacrosse if you like lacrosse, or even karate, if you like karate, but self control is when you know the right thing to do and do it, even if you still want to do something else, you still do the right thing even if you still don’t want to, you still do the right thing anyway.

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Personal Victory

Personal VictoryHere are some personal victories by some of my students.

STELLA

Personal victories:

I made supper all by myself.

I went on my first night time night crawler hunt and found a bunch

I finished my first chapter book and am almost done reading the second

I completed my big art project picture.

I went on a turkey hunt with dad early in the morning.

Hosted my friends for my birthday at the park.

Doing good at new game on my Kindle.

Got up on my own in time for school.

Brushing my own hair.

Washing myself up in the shower.

DEACON

Personal victories:

1. Jump kick – with practice, my jump kick got better.

2. School assignment – I got high scores on many of my 3rd assignments.

3. Reading – I was getting scores of 6 or 7, now I’m getting 8 or 9.

4. Good behavior – I have not gotten grounded for bad behavior recently.

5. Bus – I have started riding the bus home from school and am allowed to walk home independently with my brother.

6. Bike riding – I learned to how to ride my bike.

7. Chores – I have been taking on more chore responsibilities at home when asked.

8. Pushups – I can do more pushups than I could do before.

9. Eye contact – I earned my first strip at taekwondo.

10. Focus – I am constantly working on improving my focus in school, in taekwondo, and at home

BRENDAN

Personal victories:

1. I advanced in karate from an orange belt to a yellow belt.

2. I got into the 15 miles club at school.

3. I got above my grade level in Iowa Assessment tests

4. I got to catch and pet a baby goat.

5. I won a Nerf gun war with 6 other kids.

6. I went to the library by myself and got home when I was supposed to.

7. I babysat my younger sister for a little bit. I liked doing it.

8. I got my first strike in bowling. (No bumper pads used)

9. I tried and ate and liked rice.

10. I leaned to wash and dry clothes.

AMBER D

1. being able to break through one of the boards with a knifehand strike.

2. Doing my own workout and doing 32 leg lifts.

3. Pivots on my kicks are getting better.

4. Being tased when there was no need.

5. being able to walk a mile and a half every night.

6. Finishing another term of school

7. Walking 3 miles every night (increase from #5)

8. Learning and practicing the yellow belt form.

9. Went from an orange belt to a yellow belt decided.

10. Went from nun-chucks to scythes and learning another form for the new weapons.

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Motivation


MotivationHow are you motivated? Read how these students are:

ETHAN

Motivation is an important quality that will get you far in life. Motivation is the reason a person does something and gives them the energy to continue in the pursuit of a goal. A little motivation can go a long way in life. For example, I have a motivation to clean my room so I can play Battlefront.

BRENDAN

Personal goals for which he is motivated.

1. To not be online, on the phone playing video games as much

2. To be more physically fit

3. To learn about the game of football

4. To reading more

5. Better self control. This is a goal to stay out of trouble and better myself.

DEACON

One goal I have is trying to get my next belt for my taekwondo. Another goal is for me to get stronger. I will get stronger by practicing on my taekwondo. I want to be stronger so I can do more things than when I was younger. A goal I have is to be a scientist when I’m older. I want to be a scientist because it would help me learn more and because I’m very creative. Another goal I want to to accomplish is to be an inventor. I want to be an inventor because I am very creative and because I love to build. The last goal I want to finish is that I want to go to Japan. I want to go to Japan for an opportunity to be an inventor.

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Love

LoveEssay from the students about love.

I asked the students to write things they love to do outside of taekwondo.

NOELLE

These are the things I love to do other than taekwondo:

Singing

Playing my flute

Playing basketball

Playing volleyball

Lifting weights

Running (short distances)

Taking scenic walks outside

Looking at he stars

Acting

Playing baseball

Reading

Writing

Talking with my friends

Making crafts

Caring for farm animals (cats, goats, rabbits)

Helping others

Playing softball

Doing math

Taking a test

Sleeping

ELIJAH

These are the things I love to do outside of taekwondo:

I love to read

I love to play baseball

I love to play outside

I love to play basketball

I love to play with my dogs

I love to sleep over with my cousins

I love to write stories

I love to play football

I love to play with my brothers

I love to play soccer

I love to mow lawns

I love to run

I love to play Frisbee golf

I love to take things apart to see how they are made

I love to do puzzles

I love to play my trumpet

I love to play video games

I love to sing

I love to play golf

MADISON

The things I love to do are play with my sister, go roller skating, ride my bike, play with my cousins, go swinging, play tag, and play with my friends. The other things I love are doing math, reading, writing, play outside, fractions, science, social studies, making crafts, making things, making gifts, crafts, Pokemon, books, jump rope, coloring, stuffed animals, making books, and doing things with my family.

SALEENA

I love playing my violin and gym time at school. I love going to the pool and love going to the movies and have popcorn to eat. Love going on trips with my family. I really love my pets and caring for them. I love animals and dolphins and whales.

AMBER

I have a love for swimming and a love for karate. I love my pets Scooby and Emma. I love Garfield and my doll Chelsea. I love my mom and dad. I also love to go on vacation. I love God and Jesus and taking my dog to the park and play at the park. I love Chelsea, Barbie Skipper, Staci and Ken and love playing at the ocean and finding seashells.

STELLA

I really love to paint pictures of nature and trees. I love to play and exercise. My two favorite parts of school are PE and art. I really like running in PE. I like playing games like tag, chase, hide and seek. I love to help cook by helping dad chop vegetables with my knife. Helping out around the house can be fun. I also love shooting my bow and going to 3D archery shoots. It is also very fun to shoot my pellet gun at targets. We shot this weekend at a target that looked like a watermelon that oozed pink goo when you shot it. I also love going to amusement parks and riding roller coasters unless they go upside down. I love camping at the river and fishing. I also love to read books about animals and ninjago. I love nature and looking for fossils. I want to be a paleontologist.

BRENDAN

I love:

Collecting Pokemon cards

Playing video games

Playing basketball

Riding my bikes

Going to my aunt’s farm

Playing with Legos

Playing card games

Help cooking

Being in Boy Scouts

Carving with my pocket knife

Playing with babies

AMBER D

A list of other things I love to do:

1. Read

2. Gaming online

3. Dancing

4. Yoga/meditation

5. Travel

6. Cross things off my bucket list

7. Collect marbles and rocks

8. Study fingerprints

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Kindness

KindnessThe month of kindness brought these wonderful essays.

ABIGAIL

To be kind is to not necessarily a burden, like most make it out to be. Rather, it is a choice. There’s a choice on whether to be kind, or to be unkind. Obviously, most people prefer for others to be kind. However, although they might think this, the majority or people are unkind themselves. Although humans try to be kind to one another, and try to make others kind as well, quite the majority are hypocrites. However, we still try our best.

Some acts of kindness that I have performed to others and myself include:

– Helping friends with homework

– Doing my chores without prompts

– Letting friends borrow belongings

– Respecting other people’s opinions

– Starting random conversation with people who don’t seem to talk to too many people

– Sit with someone at lunch who’s usually alone

– Eating healthy

– Respecting others when speaking

– Getting work done on time (being kind to my grades/self)

– To no be a burden (Although this seems pessimistic, it’s in the sense of not being rude or obnoxious while around others & performing tasks)

DEACON

Last week, I raked leaves for my elderly neighbor. In 2nd grade, I gave all the 2nd grade teachers a cup of hot chocolate. Me and my brother take turns going in the shower, even when it was his turn I sometimes take a shower. Every time I go to a friend’s birthday party, I always bring a birthday card and a gift. I usually make sure what they like before I get it. I often hold the door open for people at school. I once had helped my mom make cookies. One time, a few weeks ago, I helped a hid when he dropped his book box. I had also picked up litter in my church a few times. I had once given flowers to a woman who’s mom was sick too. These are the kind acts I have listed.

JACOB

Kindness to me is doing or saying kind things to another person or animal to make them feel good. Sometimes they may not know it was done by me. This month I started to walk on the treadmill. I wanted to walk for 15 minutes every time.

At home, this month, I fed the pets for others even when it was not my turn. I volunteer to go first to avoid arguments. I volunteer to help with chores or clean-up messes. I help with dinner and laundry. During Thanksgiving when family came over, I shared my toys with them.

Away from home, I enjoyed holding the door for others, being friendly with people I don’t usually talk to by saying hi or smiling at them and complimenting someone on their clothes or how nice they look. This month, my friend Aiden, had a dog that died and a dog that ran away. I wanted to send a letter to him to make him feel better.

I liked doing kind things for others because it made them feel better. I know because it makes me feel better.

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Goals

GoalsSome of these goals are from last year, some for this year.

JACOB

My goals for taekwondo are to exercise to become stronger. The strength will help me bread boards, and not get tired so fast. Another goal is to be more confident. I want to be able to speak up for myself and stand up for myself if I have to. I’m happy to come to class each week and practice taekwondo. These are the goals that motivate me to continue my taekwondo.

NOELLE

These are the goals I have in taekwondo:

Earn my black belt

Pass with flying colors the first time

Get better at bending my knees

Get a lot more powerful

Concentrate more in sparring

Learn how to block accurately (with the correct hand)

Break with a brown board

Be able to do more pushups

Get a LOT more flexible

Get better at phrasing move in my form

Start using spectacular moves when sparring

Get better at falling gently

Distance myself better so I can spar the short ones

Break boards consistently on the first try

ELIJAH

This is a list of my goals for the next year in taekwondo

To get my belt

To pass with flying colors

To focus in class

To break a brown board consistently

To get my kicks higher

To make my reverse kicks faster

To make my form smoother

To keep my distance in sparring

To have more power

To make good combinations in sparring

MADISON

For home, my two goals are: following my chore list and to do chores every night. My two school goals are: doing my homework every night and hope kids in my class will listen and follow instruction. My goals for the community are: helping others and be active.

STELLA

I want to memorize my entire form this year. I forgot a few things at the last testing so I want to work hard to get it right this time. I really would like to earn my next belt which will be my blue belt. I will have to work hard on my kicks to make sure my knees are high and I am kicking with power. I want to get more power when I spar as well. This will help on both kicks and punches. I want to get a sparring dummy for the house so I can work hard on getting stronger with more power. I really want to become a black belt one day. My dad says I have to keep working hard, trying my best and having fun. I also need to listen to what my teachers, parents and class instructors say to help me get my goals.

AMBER

My goals are to do good in school and work real hard at my karate and focus on kicks and try hard to listen better to my instructor. Also to do a good job at school and listen to my teachers and not get upset with them and be nice to my friends and not hit people when I’m angry. Learn to take some quiet time when I need it and get better at karate and not give up.

SALEENA

My goals for this year are to do better with my reading and to practice more on my karate skills and help out more with my pets at home. My big goals this year is to be officially done with speech at school and getting ready to go to Middle School next year. Also, do a good job in school and try to get along better with my sister at home.

AMBER D

1. Become a black belt

2. Train for a new job

3. Invest in the stock market

4. Move to Des Moines

5. Continue learning new things in my profession

6. Cross off 5 things on bucket list

7. Be proficient with long staff

8. Be certified to carry

9. Travel

10. Become better at sparring

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Focus

FocusPay attention! More essays on monthly themes. Focus, now.

STELLA

1. I focus on reading everyday to make sure I don’t forget what I have learned.

2. Focus on learning to ride my bike.

3. Keeping myself healthy by eating good foods and staying hydrated.

4. Focus on not cutting myself when I make supper.

5. Learning to use a calculator to help me learn to add and subtract.

6. Focus on learning to swim without a floatie.

7. Focus on listening to my parents.

8. Paying attention and doing my best at karate.

9. Painting chalkboard in my new playhouse.

10. Focus when I shoot bow and guns with dad.

DEACON

There are a lot of things I need to focus on. Here are some things that I need to focus on. I have to focus on my movements in taekwondo. I have to make sure I get every movement right. In taekwondo, I have to do essays, I have to make sure I did not misspell any words on them. I must focus oat Sunday school on verses. When I come in I need to say the verse, and when I do, I get a prize. At church, I have to write notes and by notes, I mean I have to write down some things that show up on the screen in my little booklet. I have to focus on games, crafts, and the story they tell us. I love books, so I have to focus on them. I focus on the beginning, the middle and the end. A really good book is Goosebumps – The Werewolf of Fever Swamp. I have to focus at school on reading, writing and typing. I have to read every word right and not forget any words. I love drawing so I have to make sure I get everything perfectly straight I have to do chores and one is folding clothes. I have to make sure I fold them all perfectly straight. At last, I focus on work I do with my step dad. I have to cut all the corn stalks that got in someone’s beans. I get paid for doing it. These are when I need to focus on.

BRENDAN

My focus this month is on ‘exercise.’ I’m getting outside more. I’m riding my bike everyday. I want to be more physically fit. I’m trying to get used to exercising out in the heat. Football practice will be hard to do in the heat. I’m trying to get outside and move more.

JACOB

Focuses on:

1. Quiet time

2. Being alone

3. School work

4. Reading

5. Math

6. Learning new moves

7. Learning how to tie my belt

8. Swimming

9. Games

10 My chores

ETHAN

Focus is the ability to keep your mind on something without being distracted. Focus is a good attribute to have for it helps you get things done faster than without it. An example of focus is when I had a test and I had to focus if I wanted to get it done. I just want to say focus is important.

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