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Student Essay: Five tips to set yourself up for success this school year

Busybee Teachers, Substitute Teachers, Teachers, Teaching, Outsourced Teachers, Subs, Substitute, Tutoring, Tutor, Education, Teach, Classroom Management, Substitute Teaching, Guest Teacher, Guest Teaching

The beginning of a new school year provides you with a fresh slate. It means a new grade, new teachers and an older and wiser you! If you take some time to prepare for the new school year right at the beginning, you'll make those first days easier on yourself while also setting yourself up for success all year long. Here are five things that you can do to get ready for the school year.

1. Make a schedule.

Whether you are going to school online or in-person this year, having a schedule will ensure that you have time each day for all of the things that you need (and want!) to do. When you make your schedule, be sure to include time for homework, your after-school activities and even time to relax before bedtime. If you feel like it, you can even search for advanced schedule templates online. No matter which format you choose, a schedule will only help if you pay attention to it and use it every day. Be sure to keep it where you can see and refer to it regularly.

2. Set up an area where you can focus and study.

The environment where you study can make a big difference on whether your studies go well. Set up the area where you will study each day. Your study area can be in your room, in the kitchen or even at the dining room table. Before you set up, make sure that the area you select allows you to focus without getting distracted. After you find your spot, remove anything that might take you off task. That includes electronics you are not using and toys. Make sure you have a desk or a table that you can make your own (at least for the time you're studying). Feel free to add school supplies, a fluffy chair or even a diffuser with your favorite scent. One more thing: make sure there is a clock nearby. You can use it to help you spend your study time wisely.

3. Map out your plan for the coming year.

Whether you are going into fourth grade or eighth grade, it's important to make a plan for the year ahead. A plan is basically a list of goals you want to meet this year. Setting goals for yourself helps you to see where you are going and track your progress toward the things you want to achieve. You can make your plan mentally, on paper or online. The important part is to spend time thinking about your year and deciding on the items you want to accomplish. Some goals to include in your plan may be studying for standardized tests, reading a certain number of books, achieving something specific in an extracurricular activity (like getting a karate belt or mastering a song on the violin) or even spending extra time learning about different careers, high schools or colleges. Whatever it is, make sure it's part of your plan.

4. Keep safety in mind.

Every new school year begins with buying school supplies. This year, because of the pandemic, there are special school supplies you may need just for safety, including hand sanitizer and masks. Test out your mask in advance to ensure it fits properly, is safe and that you can wear it for the length of a school day. You will want to have enough masks that you can switch them without having to do laundry every single day. Regular hand-washing is important, but hand sanitizer also helps for the times in between.

5. Make time to read.

Now you're completely ready for the school year ... almost! One last thing to do is make sure you leave time in your schedule to read for a little while each day. Reading has been proven to improve your memory and increase your vocabulary and comprehension. It also helps you to relax and unwind. Reading lets you escape from reality and makes you feel like you are in a different world. You can find any type or genre of books in your school or local library. Ask your teacher or librarian for a reading list for your grade level, and ask your friends for their favorite book recommendations, too. Once you find a book or series you like, you can always look for similar books or authors. But don't be afraid to try other genres and authors, too! You may find something you love even more.

With just a bit of planning you can set yourself up to have a great year. Remember, you don't have to get everything perfect. You just have to make an honest effort to put some thought into the school year before it starts. Happy planning!


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