Greg Schwab Opinion Column Issue 7

By Principal Schwab

It happens every year about this time.  Students struggle with classwork, they fall behind on big projects or major assignments, grades in classes begin to suffer, and a certain administrator’s hair becomes greyer and greyer (oh, but this really isn’t about me). A couple of these examples with the fact that the weather is getting nicer again and it makes it really hard for some students to focus on school.   Since I get to write about whatever is on my mind, this time around it is my meager suggestions for how to stay on top of your work in these remaining weeks of the school year.

First, write things down.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But think about it for a minute.  You are taking 6 classes and each of them has its own workload.  Even the most capable students have a hard time keeping track of 6 classes on a daily basis.  Writing things down helps you track the important due dates and helps you stay on top of your homework.  You’d be surprised how many students who are struggling who don’t do this one thing.  Write down your homework!

Second, review your list of things to do at the end of the day.  So, you’ve mastered the habit of writing things down.  Now you actually need to make sure you take time to look at what you wrote down.  Again, a simple-enough thing when you  think about it but I’m always amazed when I talk to students about this and I learn that while they bother to write it down, they never really take time to look at the list again.  The key to any organization system you come up with is to actually use it.

Third, make time in your day to do your work.  So you write things down, you look at your list, but do you then make time in your day to get things done?  Create time and space in your day for your homework.  We have an amazing resource here at school in our Study Club.  Our Library is open every day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Sue VanSenus is there daily to make sure you have a space to work, the resources you need to do your work, and on occasion, the motivational “kick in the rear” to get your work done.  If you simply dedicate an hour a day for the purpose of getting your work done, how much farther along could you be by the end of that hour?  Whether it is here at school or at home, make time in your day to get your school work done.

Finally, turn in your work.  Seriously.  Turn stuff in.  I work with many students who took the time to do the work, but never made it to the point where it was given to their teachers.  Part of that system of organization I mentioned earlier includes having a system for getting your completed work back to your teacher.

There you have it.  Four simple things that if you can make a part of your daily routine, will have a significant impact on your success in school.  If you are serious about making positive changes to your life as a student, give these simple things a try.