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Author Bio: Daniel  Blanchard is a social studies teacher at New Britain High School, who has also published two teen leadership books. See more of Granddaddy’s secrets to success at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com

My Granddaddy once told me that the park was a great place to learn. I didn’t understand it at the time, but as I grew older, I eventually noticed that most students who depended just on the classroom for their education rarely accomplished anything significant.

The students that went on to be successful leaders all seemed to be self-starters and self-educated beyond the classroom. Somehow these young future leaders realized that a standard education only gives standard results, and they wanted more!

Some of the most dedicated people I know are public school teachers and they are doing some  amazing things with our youth. However, if you’re a teen, I want you to stop relying on your teacher for everything, and do more for yourself! If you do what everybody else does, then you will get what everybody else gets. And I think you want more than that, don’t you?

School points you in the right direction, and even helps you get your feet off the ground. But if you’re going to be successful in hitting your target, then you’re going to have to take some responsibility in your own self-education.

You have to take your learning and leadership above and beyond the classroom, and actually start applying your knowledge and leadership skills in the real world. Volunteering in your community or even getting a job is a great way to start doing this! If you are already doing this, then ask for more responsibility so you can learn your supervisor’s job. In addition, also find someone to mentor. The best way to learn is to teach.

So, now teens, go learn, lead and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Appreciate the public education that has been given to you, but do more! Thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do….