With a new year comes a new load of successes, challenges, and adventure – and, just around the corner, a brand new year of school and learning!
We at A Team Tuition are incredibly excited about this schooling year, and all the wonderful things that will happen! For us, we’re especially excited about celebrating our expansion into Brisbane with a $10,000 Tutoring Transformation Scholarship for students in the city! Check out our website and blog post for more details.
Most importantly though, whether you’re a student from Brisbane or Gold Coast – or any other city – you’re probably getting ready to get back into the swing of school life. We want to help you get your best foot forward – so here are our top 5 back to school tips and tricks to get ahead of the education game right from the very start of the year!
Tip 1. Plan for the year ahead
If there’s anything this blog is aimed at doing, it’s making plans for the year ahead!
It’s so important in life to have a specific plan in mind for whatever you’re tackling. Without having a plan, it’s guaranteed that you will be caught unaware, and react last minute to new things that suddenly happen in front of you.
This is especially true when it comes to school. A Team Tuition firmly believes that school is not something you should simply stumble through blindly – your education should be an opportunity for you to succeed, and it needs specific strategies and planning to tackle it effectively.
The best way to do this is to plan, using the resources that are provided to you. Many schools have Academic calendars available with lucrative due dates for your assessments (this can sometimes be called an assessment calendar).
These are vital to helping you succeed! Having these due dates will allow you to pencil them in ahead of time, and therefore plan when to start them, what days to work on them, when to study, and so on!
If your school doesn’t provide an assessment calendar, don’t fret! Assignments and exams actually have a typical term structure anyway – you will usually have an assessment of some kind during weeks 5 to 6, and then again around weeks 8 to 9 of term. This is because your teachers will typically measure your progress halfway through term, and see if you grow in understanding and level of effort through until the final weeks.
To help you plan for this, consider having a diary or day planner! They are super useful not just for school, but also for helping you plan extracurricular activities, social events, and any other personal events!
Make sure, too, that you allow breathing space for things to not go according to plan. Make sure you have things in place, like extra time/days or potentially people to help you, if you find that what you originally had in mind becomes far too much! Life can suddenly throw things at you without notice, be it sickness, a sudden holiday, or any other event or element.
Tip 2. Set goals, review goals
Yes, yes, we know – you hear this all the time when a new year comes around. Everybody’s telling you to set goals, be practical, use the SMART method – trust us, we hear it from everyone too!
However, there’s definitely a reason we have included it in our back to school tips and tricks. Setting goals is one of the main ways to help yourself stay on track and focus on something specific, rather than just blunder around in the dark.
Having goals, essentially, is having vision.
Vision is so important because it helps to give you direction and purpose; without it, the decisions you make are usually influenced by how you feel in the moment. In school, this usually results in avoiding things (like homework) until you have no choice but to do it (hello all-nighters).
This is vital in any area of life, not just school. Imagine yourself as an archer, hoping to shoot an arrow into a bullseye for a grand $100,000 prize. With clear sight of the board in front of you, it’s far easier for you to hit the target, and nab yourself a ton of cash.
But imagine if someone suddenly puts a blindfold over your eyes, and you can’t see anything, or aim for anything in particular.
That’s what not having goals is like. You still have a chance of achieving success, but without the clear vision and focus that goal-setting provides, there’s a far heavier chance that you’ll miss.
My advice? Set your goals this year. Make them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Don’t make your goal “I want to shoot a bow and arrow” – focus on setting boundaries, and allowing it to be SMART:
“I want to be able to shoot an arrow into a bullseye within three months
time so that I can win $100,000. To do that, I will practice shooting with
a bow and arrow every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday for the next
three months until I can shoot a bullseye.”
Now that might feel like an incredibly long goal, but it’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. You also essentially have two goals in one – one overarching goal, with a set place to get to, and another goal that will allow you to get to said set place.
Doing this for school also helps you grow and develop your goal-setting ability for your other areas of life! A Team Tuition strongly believes that you should have more than just school goals – it’s also important to have personal goals, and career goals.
We want you to achieve success in every area of your life, and having clear goals towards that success helps hone in your talent and abilities. Once you’ve got a clear vision, being successful becomes far easier!
Tip 3. Have an accountability partner
The reason most people fail in achieving their goals is because they attempt to go into it alone. An accountability partner is someone who you tell your goals and aspirations to, and who then help keep you on track towards achieving those goals.
You’ll find that if you establish an accountability partner for yourself, you will be kept on track far more than if you just stumbled around alone. Even with clear goals set in mind, having someone back you up and keep you accountable is amazing for the days where you genuinely just don’t feel like putting in the effort, or you’re struggling to have the confidence to believe in yourself.
When picking an accountability partner, you should be very particular about who you go with! Pick someone who is dedicated to their school work, but will not hesitate to encourage you, help you, or pull you back in line if you’re slacking off. This can be a good friend, a class partner, or, ideally, your Academic Personal Trainer! Tutors have been trained to keep their students accountable and help them through any struggles they’re facing in meeting their goals.
You should aim to utilize them – and any other accountability partners you have – as a way of discussing your strengths and weaknesses with someone who can help you develop and grow! They also should be able to help motivate and inspire you, especially when things don’t go according to plan (as mentioned in tip 1) or you struggle to meet your goals (tip 2).
Tip 4. Become familiar with your learning style
Very few people will think to familiarize themselves with their learning style. However, we at A Team Tuition believe that your learning style is the crux of your schooling, and one of the most important things you need to know about yourself.
We won’t go into too many details as to what a ‘learning style’ is – you’re welcome to read our previous blog all about it to gain some insight. The most important thing to know is that your learning style helps classify the exact way you learn best. This is the more vital back to school tips and tricks!
There are three main learning languages: visual (learning through what you see), aural (learning through what you hear), and kinaesthetic (learning through what you do). Figuring out which one you are might seem tricky – luckily our tutors are trained specifically to help you recognize your learning language, and how to fit it to the way you learn and study!
For more info on learning languages, make sure you read our other blogs all about the different types and how they help optimize your learning! It’s incredibly important to do so, as it affects the next tip greatly:
Tip 5. Know & grow your study habits
Study habits are vital to helping you become the absolute best student you can be.
To do your best work, you need to know how you learn best. Whilst the aforementioned learning languages are an important factor of knowing your study habits, there are so many more aspects to consider.
Have you ever thought about when your mind is most active? Or what environment you feel most comfortable learning in? Or if you have different ways of learning for different subjects?
If not, you definitely need to!
Being self-aware about your learning and personal habits is incredibly important. It helps stimulate comfort, and helps make learning feel like something you want to do, rather than something you have to do!
For example, when I write, I hate sitting still at a desk or staring at a blank wall. I would much rather be sitting on a comfy, soft couch, or propped up on my bed, typing away for hours. I love to be surrounded by visual aids like mind maps or pages of hand-written colour-coded notes.
My mind also doesn’t feel active at all in the early mornings, so my best writing tends to come when I write from mid-afternoon onwards.
Now, I can still write if the conditions aren’t what I like best, but my writing will actually take longer because I’ll be feeling sluggish, and often even get frustrated at the work I’m doing.
I know all these things because I sat down with people who helped me reflect on myself and my habits, and what habits were being detrimental. Since doing that, I’ve been able to make my writing better, and be faster at it as well!
There are so many other habits, and definitely ones that factor in with your learning style – such as which study methods are best for you, or what your best study habits inside the classroom would be.
I would encourage you to do some self-reflection on your schooling, either by yourself, with a studious friend, a family member, or your A Team Tuition tutor.
Within no time, if you pay specific attention to the back to school tips and tricks, you’ll find yourself finding school not only much easier, but also a lot more fun!