Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Advice for kids in a new year


So it's a new year.. new teachers.. new situations.

What can a student do to fare well in a new year.

1. Come with a great attitude.

I don't mean suck up. Mainly I mean come ready to work. A new teacher has no expectations of you, even if you have had them in a previous year or have known another sibling. If you are willing to work, you will be noticed. If a teacher sees that you are working hard, and need some extra help, they will always be more willing if they can see if you have tried.

2. Follow instructions and come prepared.

This seems obvious, but a faster way is not always the better way in mathematics. If you can lay your work out properly from an early age, it's a skill you don't have to learn in year 11. Neatness is something people attribute to braininess (don't ask me why) - but don't let this be an excuse to be slow! ..and don't waste time asking for materials that could be spent working!

3. Sit with people you can work with

If you get to seat yourself, then stay with people you can work with. It can be hard, and sometimes you will need to have a quiet word with the teacher to move you elsewhere. Good students are the people that can help you when you are stuck and the teacher is with someone else that needs help. Remember to help others as what goes around...

4. The teacher is on your side unless..

Teachers are not in it for the money. They get a buzz out of seeing you learn. If you prevent others from learning you are killing their buzz. Expect to get squashed.

5. Be on time and prepared

Being on time is more than being at class when the bell goes. Homework arrives on time. Assignments arrive on time. If you know multiple assignments are due at the same time, spend some time in the library and miss that of so important TV show or MSN.

6. Do your best

Don't loaf. Ability will only take you so far, at some point you need to learn a good work ethic. It's easy to coast. Find ways to stay motivated. Race yourself. Try and get more correct answers next time. See how far you can get without asking the teacher a question. Use notes and worked examples given by the teacher. Make your next test the best result ever.

7. Failure is the path to success.

If you fail, don't give up, see it as learning what not to do. When you fail you learn about what you do not know. This is important. Identify what it is you need to learn and when you get an opportunity find out how to do it. Always, always, always do your corrections after assessment.

8. Read ahead.

Read the text book before school starts. Understand as much as you can. Know what you need to ask the teacher about. If you already know the basic stuff, it will give you time to learn it in more depth during class and with the help of the teacher.

9. Leave the playground in the playground.

Get used to putting your mind in work mode when you enter a classroom. Walking into a classroom high fiving and calling out to friends as you walk in (normally late) is a sure way to get on the wrong side of a class and teacher.

That's it!

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