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Tips for Success 416
Tips for Success
1.       Go to school every day and be punctual
A majority of students don’t like waking up for school but it is worth it to get ready early to get your school day started.  Show up every day, on time, ready to learn, and with a positive attitude.  Remember to bring your binders, paper, teacher handouts, textbooks, pencils, pens, and USB to school every day.  Remember we offer a morning homework club from 8:00 – 8:30 in room 233 Monday-Friday.
2.       Take notes
It is a lot of writing but when test time comes around you will be thankful for all the study material you have available.
3.       Always do your homework
Practice makes perfect.  It seems like an inconvenience, but it helps you to remember what you learned that day. It’s a test tactic that’s sure to get you a good score on your next test.
4.       Pay attention in class
Despite what you may think, what the teachers are saying is important!  Don’t bring electronic devices to class to distract you from learning.  Using cell phones, listening to music, texting friends, etc. will negatively affect your ability to participate and learn in class.  Show interest in learning.
5.       Participate!  Participate!!  Participate!!!
You should participate actively in class discussions to learn more.  You will absorb the information better, get teacher feedback, stay focussed longer, and be an active learner.  By answering question in class you will reinforce your learning and concept attainment.
6.       Organize Yourself and Your School Work
Organization is central to a successful career in high school.  Here are some things you should keep organized and easy to find:
Your course syllabus and class requirements
Your class notes, records, tests and papers
A to-do list and a calendar with due dates for school projects
Your room and homework space at home
Organization also entails exercising good time management. Learn to be in control of your time, not the other way around.  There are free time management courses online.  Take one, or two.
7.       Practise Healthy Habits:  breakfast is a key element to your Eat Nutritious Food, Sleep Well, and Exercise Regularly
Believe it or not, daily functioning.  According to Student Health Services Blog, school children perform better on a full stomach.  Eat healthy.  Get proper sleep.  Exercise every day.
8.       Respect your teachers and classmates and develop good relationships
Your teachers are giving their time to give you the information you need to pass their classes. Give them the time of day. You’re not the only who wakes up early every morning.
Your classmates are your partners in the learning process.  Work cooperatively and respectfully with them.  Do your part in group work, participate actively in class activities and bring your best to the table every day.
Establish a good relationship with the teacher. High school teachers teach three classes every day, so it’s important to distinguish yourself. During the first week of school, introduce yourself. Let your teacher know that you are interested in her class, and welcome the opportunity to learn. Ask questions that show you’re paying attention. Parents should also introduce themselves, via e-mail or at Back-To-School night. Teachers respond well to students who show that they care about the class.
9.       Come with a good attitude and a willingness to work diligently
You’re getting an education. What could put you in a better mood! Not to mention your attitude affects your focus and your performance in class.
10.   Try your Hardest.  Set goals and high standards for yourself.
This is definitely one of the key ingredients for success.  You must work hard and be an independent learner.  You are responsible for your own successes and failures.  Set goals and stick to them.  Watch the Les Brown video on why people fail.
11.   Get help fast.
If a student realizes that something is difficult, he should seek as much help as possible as quickly as possible. Teachers are very receptive to requests for extra help. Straighten out misunderstandings before they start to snowball.
12.   Don’t swallow your questions.
Questions are the vehicle by which we learn. If you have one, ask it. Chances are that many of the students have the same question. Saying it out loud will help you, your classmates, and the teacher. Asking good questions is a lifelong skill, and school is a safe place to practice. The more questions we ask, the easier it gets. Teachers respect all questions. Giving 100% in your classes will help you to succeed.
13.   Get Involved!  Get a List of School Clubs and Extracurricular Activities    
Whether it is joining a club or a sport, getting involved in school is a great way to make new friends and easing the pressure of a new school.  Good leadership skills are very important for the success of individuals, companies and our communities.  This is why colleges and universities value your leadership experiences in high school and within your community.  To help build your leadership skills, you’ll need to find opportunities to learn and exercise your skills.  School clubs, extracurricular activities and after-school programs provide students with these opportunities.
To join a school club, find out what types of clubs are offered in your school.  Next, evaluate which of the clubs listed really interest you. Don’t join a club or an activity because you want to list this experience in your college application.  It is best to find something that you really enjoy, because you’ll be more likely to commit to that activity long term.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
14.   Get to know you Guidance Counsellor and Build a Relationship
Building a good relationship with your school guidance counsellor is key for many reasons.  Guidance counsellors serve many roles in your academic career in high school.  They guide and advice you with courses and curriculum; they assist you with class/course issues; they provide academic support; and they can recommend you for extracurricular/academic programs and awards.  In other words, a good guidance counsellor that has your best interest in mind is, without doubt, your best friend in high school.
To help your guidance counsellor get to know you well, establish a relationship with him/her as early as possible.  Drop by his office and introduce yourself.  Tell your guidance counsellor a little about yourself and what you hope to do while you’re in high school (e.g., play sports, learn an instrument, work on the school newspaper). Be assertive.  Ask your guidance counsellor if she’s heard of any new opportunities that you might benefit from, such as a summer program scholarship or an afterschool enrichment program.  Overall, be resourceful.                                         
15.   Look for Special or Advanced School Programs that Will Help You Stand Out
 Explore which advanced or special programs are offered in your high school.  Many of these programs are not well advertised, so you’ll need to do some leg work. Does your school have a  good Drama Club or Music Program?  What about a Debate Team?  College and University admissions officers value transcripts with challenging courses; it suggests that you’re
academically motivated, smart, and studious.  They also look closely at your extracurricular activities, especially if it is a highly competitive program or you’re applying for a scholarship.
16.   De-Stress                                           
Practise positive self-talk, meditation, yoga, and regular exercise.  Learn how
to cope with stress and create conditions that reduce the stress in your life. 
Be organized.  Be positive.  See the glass as half full rather than half empty.
17.   Explore Summer Programs and Opportunities
Colleges and Universities want to see how you’re spending your time off from school.  
There are hundreds of summer programs catering to high school students, from academic enrichment programs in colleges, to international volunteer experiences.  Whatever you do, make sure you spend at least 4 weeks of your summer vacation doing something that is productive, intellectually stimulating or community-minded. 
Now, you don’t need to go to Africa or Guatemala and help build houses or teach English as a Second Language to impress college admissions officers. Working at your family’s store; volunteering at a local community program; or taking a free online course are all excellent summer activities.  Whatever you do, make sure you’ll be able to articulate that summer experience as something that helped you grow and learn.  Watch the “Me to We” video.
18.   Hang Out with the Right Crowd
Many teens in high school feel pressured to make friends or hang out with particular crowds. It is very natural to want to be liked by others and be part of a social group.  But ultimately, what matters most is choosing friends that are not going to get in the way of your goals.  For that reason, make friends with kids who have things/goals/dreams in common with you.  Hang out with kids that are mature for their age, kind and easy to be around. 
19.   Find a friend to be your study partner.
We all have reasons for legitimate absences. So find a friend who will take good notes when you’re gone and will call that night to fill you in on the homework. This is good practice for the real world, where building positive relationships is necessary to thrive. In more advanced classes, it’s a good idea to build a study group to practice for tests.
20.   Push yourself – Challenge Yourself
What’s life without challenges?  As you begin your first year in high school, don’t take short cuts.  Challenge yourself to be the best you can be.  Look for ways to outdo yourself.  Set high standards and high goals for yourself.   You are in control of your own destiny.  Only by pushing yourself, you’ll see how far you can go.
21.   Don’t Give Up
Stay positive.  Everyone has setbacks.  One bad mark isn’t the end of the world.  There are many chances for you to shine in every course.  The exam isn’t everything.  You have evaluations throughout the semester.  Look at failures and setbacks as learning opportunities and chances for continuous improvement.   Having grit and resilience will help you achieve success.  Watch the Michael Jordon video. 
22.   Know Your Community
Get involved in the community and local events.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn about Canada and our multicultural society.  Explore new cultures and try new things.  Meet people from different cultures and learn about different perspectives.  Read the local newspaper, join activities in the community, travel and get to know everything you can about Canada.  Develop your cultural literacy.
23.   Develop your Critical Thinking Skills
Your teachers will encourage you to analyze, question, and evaluate different perspectives.  As a society, we value creativity and originality.  Problem solving and higher level thinking are required for academic success.   Develop your ability to ask questions and accept alternative viewpoints.
24.   Practise your English
The only way to become fluent in a language is to use the language on a regular basis.  Practise your English speaking, listening, reading and writing skills as much as possible.  Speak English at home, with your friends, and in the community.  Watch English movies and television.  Read the newspaper and discuss current events with your family members and friends
Parent/Guardian Involvement and School Success
We must engage our children early and we must help them develop an early mindset that that education is important. We know that the right type of parental involvement is critical to our children’s academic success. Parents are their children’s first teacher.
Here are my top ten tips to help parents make the grade and help our students succeed:
1. Stress being on time and attendance!” Research shows that school attendance is the single most important factor in your child’s school success. Being late just ten minutes each day means 30 hours of lost instruction time each year. So avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments or family trips during those school hours. Teach your child to set an alarm clock so he can take responsibility for his own wake ups and you can stop playing Big Ben. But do what it takes to make sure your child’s in class on time and ready to learn.
2. Prioritize schoolwork. Stress that school and homework comes before friends, a job, or sports. Limit or restrict TV, videogames and movies during school nights. Set high expectations that you expect your child to do his schoolwork to the best of his ability, and then make sure he does by following through. If he doesn’t-set a consequence. (Hint: Teens who did not graduate from high school say they would have preferred that their parents were stricter and demanded more of them in their learning). Set high educational aspirations for your child.
3. Be involved from the get go! Know what’s going on in your child’s school and classroom. Monitor your child’s school progress. Read the school newsletters, volunteer, show up to school events, and answer each communication. Check your child’s work, but don’t do it for her!
4. Partner with the teacher. Show up to every parent conference and back-to-school-event. Call for an appointment if you see your child struggling.
Maintain ongoing communication with the teacher and the school. Stay connected! Don’t let that report card surprise you. Know how your child is doing.
5. Show daily interest. Create daily rituals such as in the car pool, during the family meal or every night before your child goes to bed to discuss school. Ask: “What did you do in school?” not “How did you do?” Don’t let a day go by that you don’t talk about what happened in your child’s classroom and what he’s learning.
6. Support your child’s school activity participation. Kids who feel connected to their school are more likely to have better grades as well as graduate. Encourage your child to participate in school activities that match his/her interests such as football, the chess club, band, or theatre, and then cheer him on.
7. Applaud effort! Acknowledge hard work and persistence not just the grade or the outcome. Use specific praise about a task so your child knows what he did right to help stretch his inner motivation. The single greatest correlation to success in life is not the child’s grade but his/her persistence. Emphasize the effort!
8. Be a role model. Read in front of your kids. Check out books from the library. Talk about the importance of education. Have books available so your kids see that reading is important. Let your kids see that you aren’t derailed by a mistake, and problem solve to work things through. Be an example of hard work and persistence so your child has a model to copy.  Practise speaking English at home and reading in English to encourage your child to speak and read in English.  Practise makes perfect. 
9. Pass on high educational aspirations. Be clear that you value learning and why education is crucial. Your child must understand it is important to work hard and how his effort will pay off later. From an early age talk to your child about his future education plans in “when” not “if” term: “When you graduate from high school…” and “When you go to college…”
10. Get help so your child succeeds! If your child is struggling with his learning don’t wait to get help. Call the school and talk to the teacher. Ask to speak with the counsellor or school psychologist. Your goal is to create the best plan to help your child’s learning steadily progress and reduce frustrations so he feels successful. Don’t give up!
Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting Expert
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