6 Ways Teens Can Rock the New School Year
Did you ever just want a fresh start? You know, a chance to start again, a chance to remake yourself into a better version of you? Or to remake a bad reputation? Teachers and students get the chance each school year to start over. It was one of the things I loved best about teaching. New year – new you!
As a teacher, I implemented new policies or classroom routines. Students decide to be more organized or complete all their homework. And it can be done! Why? Your new teacher or students have no prior expectations of you. You can be whoever you want to be. That is a blessing.
So, let’s talk about
6 Ways Teens Can Start the School Year Off Right
1. Use a planner
This is the best way to create new habits AND start the school year off right. A planner will help you keep track of assignments and your schedule outside of school. Grab a planner (this one is my favorite!), your various schedules (school, work, church, sports, etc) and start filling in that planner. You should take it out during EVERY class and write down the specific assignment. If there is no homework, write “No Homework”.
For more detailed help picking and setting up a planner, check out my 2 posts:
2. Get organized
Kids who start the year unorganized usually end the year even more unorganized. It’s time for you to set up a notebook and organize that backpack. When the teacher asks you to turn in homework, you will know where it is. When it’s time to study, you can easily find your notes.
Head over to my posts!
- Organize Your Notebook Like a Boss
- 5 Steps to an Organized Backpack
- How Teens Can Get Organized for the New Year
- Get the Best Organization Apps for Students
I also have a FREE online course, Organization Jumpstart that you should check it out right now!
3. Complete all work, in and out of class
This is the best time to impress new teachers and build a positive reputation. Remember, she might write you a recommendation to college or for a scholarship later on.
Hopefully, the planner we discussed above will help you on track with homework assignments. But, you must work in class as well. Believe me, the teacher remembers the kids who goof off and declare they will “finish the assignment at home.” (Spoiler alert: they usually don’t!)
And if you have a summer assignment due, PLEASE MAKE SURE IT IS TURNED IN ON TIME. Read my post on completing a summer assignment at the last minute, if you need to finish it quickly!
4. Create a study schedule
Creating and sticking to a consistent study schedule will allow you to use your time more efficiently and better prepare for class. (Psst – This is when the planner really helps out!)
Start by blocking off time to study on a regular basis. That 2 hours before dance class on Wednesday? You could set it aside for English reading. 15 minutes in between practice and church? Flip through flashcards on your phone. When a big test or semester exams are looming, grab my Study Plan worksheet!
5. Find an accountability buddy
Creating new habits is HARD! Research shows that it takes over 60 days to make a new habit. So, grab a blank calendar or your planner and write in your new habits every day or time you want to use it. It might look something like this:
You can create small rewards for yourself for using your planner every day for a week or cleaning out your backpack 3 weeks in a row. My rewards, somehow, always revolve around food.
Then, get a buddy to help you. That buddy will hold you accountable, meaning she will keep you honest and hold you to your goals. The accountability buddy could be a parent, a sibling, or a friend.
6. Ask for help
If you are struggling early in the school year, please please please go to the teacher for help. Together, you and the teacher should be able to pinpoint the problem and fix it early. If the teacher can’t or won’t help (gulp!), ask your counselor or a tutor.
As a private tutor, I work with students on isolating and solving those problem areas, whether it’s taking notes in class or understanding a text. However, it’s so much easier to fix that problem early in the school year. By April or May, you may have missed too much content!
For more tips about being a successful student all year long, check out this post! Let me know how it goes in the comments below!