By Scott Lutostanski
Each year that passes since March 2020, it seems as though we get a little bit closer to normalcy in our schools. The last few years have certainly required students to have a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to their academics. With the first day of school rapidly approaching, it’s time for students to get back to the basics to have a successful start to the school year. Here’s a few simple areas that students can focus on to hit the ground running this August.
Organization- This is one of the most basic skills that students need to succeed. The key is to create a system before the year starts. This should include what folders, notebooks, planner, backpack, locker, and Google Drive systems that a student will use. Once a clear template is established, students will have something to aim for and check in on each week. Organization is a boring skill, and yet, it can derail a lot of students. Usually it’s easy to maintain this for 1-2 weeks. The challenge is still being organized by week 7 or 8 of the semester.
Time Management and Planning Systems- Similarly, students need to create their systems for how they are going to track their time, deadlines, assignments, and extracurriculars. Students need to have an efficient grasp of all the work they need to do, when their quizzes/tests are, and how they can be best prepared for anything coming their way. Most school districts use Google as their online platform. All the tools are there, but students need to establish how they are going to create their “system” and then stick to it.
Set Goals- The start of the year is a great time to set clear objectives and goals to aim for. These can include GPA, number of missing assignments (none?), test scores, homework grade goals, organization goals, etc. The list is endless. By setting goals and constantly reviewing them, students can start to build connections between the more mundane parts of school and being efficient and thorough. Sharing goals with another person is even more effective than keeping it to yourself.
After School Routine- Having consistency after school can make a big difference. Many students will not do their homework at all or put it off until late in the night. By creating a structure for how after school time should be spent, students can work to become more efficient, stay productive, and be more successful in school.
These are 4 very straightforward areas that students should analyze and think about before this school year starts up. The key is to implement these ideas from day 1 and then work hard to maintain consistency as the semester progresses.