In a normal year, August means “Back to School.”. But with the spread of COVID-19, which shut down in-person schooling this past March, starting a new school year means many schools won’t be reopened in the traditional way.
School reopenings for in-person studies are still up for debate and reopening dates range from the middle of August to remaining closed the entire school year. But regardless of where schooling will be taking place, whether it’s back in a classroom or at home through a computer screen, students and teachers need to have a plan in place to maximize learning potential.
Here are some tips that can be used in order to start a new school year in a successful way.
Have a Designated Work Area
For students, having a designated study area means having fewer distractions around and getting into a school mindset, even in their room or home. This can be a spare room or a corner in their bedroom. The important thing to note is that it’s crucial to use that area only for school.
Students should make sure this area is quiet or has a door that can be closed. This gives students privacy when they’re working, talking to their instructors, tutoring, or taking a test.
Space should be big enough to allow for a desk or table but also incorporate flexible seating. This can be a comfortable spot for reading or a change of pace during a stressful school day from home. From hammock chairs to shaggy rugs, an added bit of comfort goes a long way.
Have the Right Equipment Set-Up
Some students may think that their coursework can be done from just their smartphone, but this won’t help students complete what they need to. Smartphones can be used occasionally, yes, but the best option is to use a desktop or laptop for the best experience. With the right hardware, students can store their projects and programs and easily access their work.
Stick to a Schedule
A student’s schedule should relate to a traditional bell schedule at school. When the bell rings in a school, students pack up and head on to their next class. A virtual program should be no different. Students should have an outline of this schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Teachers, on the other hand, should allow their students time at the end of the day to finish up any pending assignments. If a student completes their work in the allotted time, this period can be counted as study time to get ahead in a class or work on a long-term project.
Teachers and students can also download pacing guides that will help keep everyone on schedule with their work. This guide can be used to find what assignments are due every week.
One of the great things about school is that students can connect in more ways than just studying. From sports to clubs, extra credit courses to performing arts, non-schoolwork activities help students learn and grow in other ways. But with COVID-19 still around, these activities are put on hold for the time being.
It’s important to put non-schoolwork activities on students’ calendars and can include things like holidays, vacations, doctor appointments, and hangout sessions with friends. This can help students avoid stressing about unfinished school work and give them something else to focus on and look forward to.