Top Tips for Starting The New School Year Right: A Student’s Guide
The first few weeks of school are crucial. Not only are you getting to know your schedule, and meeting old and new friends, but you’re also establishing precedents for the rest of the year. Importantly, you’ll be making a first impression on your teachers and want that to be as positive as possible. Establishing these habits will help set the right tone for the entire school year.
1. Be quiet in class
It’s exciting to see your friends for the first time since June, and it may be nice to see new faces as well. But once the teacher starts the class, stop chatting with your buds or texting your friend across the building. End your conversation, turn off and put away your phone, and give the teacher your full attention.
2. Don’t be quiet in class
That being said, don’t wholly clam up when you’re in class! Raise your hand to answer questions, even if you’re not sure about the answers. Don’t be shy about asking questions either – don’t think for a minute that someone else doesn’t have the same question. You’re not expected to be an expert on the subject; that’s why you’re in the class! Participate, especially when no one else is willing to. Teachers notice students who are always willing to put themselves out there and take smart risks.
3. Get to your classes on time
It sounds so simple, but it really will make a difference. Breezing into class even one minute late the first week does not demonstrate your academic dedication. Don’t worry, though; if you explain that you got lost on your way to class, teachers will understand. Just make sure you don’t use it as an excuse during the second or third week of school!
4. Get yourself organized
Your December self will hate your September self if you start the school year off in a haphazard way. Get your binders and notebooks organized from the beginning. Organizing your materials now is easy because you won’t have a lot of homework or papers to file. Make sure you choose and stick to an organization system that works for you. Consider it an investment of your time that will pay off big time when it comes time to study and prepare for a test or exam. If you don’t know how to study or use executive functions, consider taking a class before the start of school.
5. Get your homework done and submitted on time
You don’t want to be known as that kid who says they forgot their homework at home, or who has it partially complete. Homework not turned in is homework not done. Use your planner to schedule your work and always hand in your assignments the day they’re due. If there’s nothing tangible to hand in, but other preparation was assigned (such as reading), make sure you do it. If you run into a tight spot and feel you absolutely, positively can’t meet a deadline, talk to your teacher right away. You’ll be sure to stay on your teacher’s good side if you take responsibility for your work.
6. At least look interested in your least-favorite class
You may not be a huge algebra enthusiast, or maybe English isn’t your thing. But sitting with your head in your hands, staring out the window, or yawning constantly will not help your cause. It’s rude, of course, and it also keeps you disengaged from the subject. Teachers notice students who are engaged in the learning process. So be fully present: listen, maintain eye contact, and ask questions. Who knows? It may turn out that you’ll end up being interested in algebra or English!
Of course, you need to have a strong work ethic throughout the entire year, but it is extra- important to establish your level of commitment right at the beginning of the academic year. Make the effort now, and you will be reaping the benefits all the way until June!
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