Back to School: 8 simple tips to start classes off on the right foot

Author: Mrs Megan Barrett, Year 12 Coordinator

Starting things off on the right foot will keep you thriving throughout the term.  Use these simple tips to help you get in the swing of things as you settle into the school year.

1.  Show up for class on time

To some, this may seem like a no-brainer, but so many important messages and curriculum content are given at the beginning of the lesson, while your brain is fresh. 

2.  Come with an open mind

When you’re getting a feel for the class, stay open to learning what the class will be about, even if it’s not exactly what you expected or if the teacher teaches in a less conventional fashion. Start to see what you might be able to get out of class and what you might be able to contribute to the learning environment.  Part of this focus also includes setting aside things like social media.

3.  Do everyone a public service and ask questions

You’ve heard it before–if you’re confused about something, someone else probably is too. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask those questions. Not everyone has the self-confidence to speak up in class, but finding your voice will be a relief for yourself and others.

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4.   Organise that planner

Organising–and keeping–a planner is your best way to stay mentally and visually organised.  Make good use of your school E-Diary by writing in your due dates. 

5.  Minimize distractions

Use or a timer and self-discipline to zero in on tasks and maximise your productivity. To do this, determine an amount of time you want to devote your attention to homework, study or an assignment. An hour is usually a good chunk. Set a timer if you don’t trust yourself–and get to work.

6.  Find healthy ways to get back in the swing of things

Take a step back and schedule time to do something that is healthy for yourself. Whether that means spending a little time with friends, going on a run or simply doing something you enjoy.  Most importantly make sure you get a good night’s sleep so you are well rested to tackle the day. 

7.  Be proactive when issues start to come up

One of the key things that you need to do if you start feeling like you’re overwhelmed and you can’t finish things, or there’s something else going on, it’s really important for you to make that first step and contact your teacher or year co-ordinator in person if possible.

8.  Keep an academic journal

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What is an academic journal you may ask? Similar to a journal, but instead of writing about how you’re feeling (which is great to do as well), write about what you’re learning. Classes can move quickly and you forget things that you later might find useful, but if you write them down, you’ll be able to look back. You may find things you learned in one class that you can use for another, or ideas you had for a future essay or other assignment.  It’ll help you to have breadcrumbs to follow your way back about what you learned over the term and how that might be useful or interesting as you move forward. It’s a way for you to gauge your own progress as you grow. 

Starting the school year off right sets you up for success and gets you in the swing of productivity and productivity, and having a plan helps you go in feeling confident and prepared to tackle your schedule. Keep these tips in mind this school year.