The "back-to-school" transition is one that many students struggle with. After the freedom of summer vacation going back to school can seem like an overwhelming obstacle. Here are my top five tips that are guaranteed to not only help students survive going back to school but set them up for a successful school year.
Know Your Teacher's Expectations
Many teachers provide an introduction to their class on the first day of school called a syllabus. It will outline important test dates and upcoming projects. The syllabus will also explain the teacher's expectations and how they grade. It is every student's job to read over the entire syllabus and ask their teacher questions about it early on. Ignorance is not an excuse, especially when they provide all of the information up front. Depending on the school or grade level students may not receive a syllabus, but that is not an excuse. Students should always ask about their teacher's expectations for the year.
Get a Planner
Some schools provide planners at the beginning of the year because they are excellent tools that help students keep their information organized and allow them to plan ahead. It is important to choose a planner that you will actually use, because otherwise what is the point?
Everything Needs to Have a Place
Use a binder and organize it so that everything has a place. Do not use the front flap of your binder except for an emergency. Casually placing papers in the front flap of your binder at random makes it easier to mix up completed assignments from assignments that need to be finished and handed-in. It is a good practice to check your binder every evening when you're done with everything to make sure that all of your work is in the appropriate place.
Create a Filing System
Don't throw away any graded work. Create a filing system at home for all of your graded assignments that have been handed back to you from your teacher. These assignments can be useful as study guides and review for final exams or topics that you have struggled with.
Create a Study-Friendly Zone
In order to maximize the productivity of your studying it is useful to create a place that is a study friendly zone. It should NOT be warm and comfy like in your bedroom on your bed. It should be a place with limited distractions that is similar to a library or school setting that will keep you alert and focused. Many people find that their dining room is the best available place in their room.