Starting the school year – tips from a future teacher

We all love our school holidays, but as always, before we think twice it is another school year. Back to books, fresh sets of pens (how long will they last?), and needing to ask to go to the bathroom. But being back at school has a number of perks. My name is Emily, and I’m about to begin my 3rd year of my teaching degree at Flinders University – so here is a quick “future teacher” guide to help you dominate the 2017 school year!

  • Form a good relationship with your teachers

While it sounds a bit cliché, make an effort to listen to your teachers. Establishing good relationships with your teachers early in the year can make a huge difference to whether you enjoy and perform well in a subject. Try to pay attention and understand the content presented for your own sake. They want to help you do your best!

  • Be you

Being back in the school yard comes with a large number of social pressures that most of us feel we need to conform to. Even as an adult at university, I sometimes find myself falling into the trap of being unauthentic in order to meet others’ expectations. While all of us want to be liked and accepted, the truth remains that it is always best to be yourself.

  • Find your study style

Studies show that there are many different ways that people learn, and it’s up to you to experiment with what works best. These styles are broadly listed as being: visual (learning with pictures and images); aural (listening to sounds, music or e-books); verbal (speaking and writing); and physical (through touch or movement). Try out a few different methods and see what suits you best.

  • Balance work and play…

School isn’t meant to be ridiculously hard, demanding and stressful – although I know that at times it can feel that way. Be sure to take time to unwind; watch some Netflix or head down to the park with friends to take a break from study.

  • Do your homework!

Success at school isn’t something that just happens. I know some people manage to get through the Middle Years scoring well on tests without studying too much, but when it comes to crunch time it is the people who work hard that succeed.

  • Find a healthy hobby

You only need to do a quick Google search to learn about the immense benefits that exercise has on brain function. This includes increasing blood flow to the brain, the release of endorphins (the feel good hormone), and increasing the potential to focus. With that in mind, find yourself a healthy hobby. Go outside for a jog, have a dance party in your room, or play some sport; your brain will thank you for it.

  • Challenge yourself

Try not to simply go with the flow this year. Challenge yourself to learn, explore and grow. If something catches your interest in the news, in class, or within a hobby seek to find out more about it. Not only will this develop your knowledge and interests, but could make for an awesome study area or career down the track.

  • Set goals for what is beyond

School is only one very small part of the puzzle. I know that when you’re there it feels like your whole world. Goal setting, however crazy your dreams may be, can be an awesome way to get through your work. Look at career pathways, tertiary study, VET/TAFE or employment opportunities to create both long and short term goals. Shoot for the stars and go beyond.

Best of luck for the 2017 school year!


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