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This is the last week of 2016 and next week the kids head back to elementary school, high school and college...

This week's blog post is about Being Prepped: A Few Tips for Students and Teachers to Get Through Their Second / Spring Semesters!

"I managed to get through my first fall term at college and feel so relieved. It was very different from what I was used to in high school and know that with the spring term, I’ll be dealing with new subjects and meeting a whole new set of people. It’s a bit overwhelming  since, before college I was used to having the same lessons and classmates year-round. I’m worried that a whole new set of courses, professors, classmates and expectations may overwhelm me – and I’m still reeling a bit from my initial adjustment to college. My mother is a high school history teacher, so I decided to talk to her about this and she said it’s not so different for her sometimes either. She teaches both advanced and regular classes, so students in the former stay with her all year while those in the latter classes change after the holiday break. I imagine that coming up with new lesson plans and having to refamiliarize herself with an entire group of new students isn’t easy. For me, though, I’ll just need to remember everything I did right in the fall to make sure things go smoothly in the spring." 

So the fall term has passed and now comes the spring. For some primary and secondary students and teachers across America returning to school after winter break can be somewhat foreboding and even overwhelming. But for others whose courses last the entire school year, it’s just business as usual other than getting to start over with a clean slate grade-wise. For those on the college level, however, readjusting to new classes and educators is a must. Rest assured, though, because Rice Psychology Group is here to offer a few tips to make the second half of the school year easier to deal with for teachers and students!


Remember What Worked and What Didn’t

Confucius once said, “Study the past if you would define the future.” For college students wanting to make the spring term easier to handle, remember what you did in the fall that made your schooling simpler or more difficult. Did you forego studying your notes until the night before a test? How about putting your social life before academics?
If there were certain things you did that made school a better experience, then repeat them. Studying for a half hour each night for a few weeks will result in a better outcome compared to cramming information the night before a big test. And if there were things that made school more difficult, then we know you’ll want to avoid doing them again. This goes for students in elementary and middle/high school as well. For parents, try to keep up with whatever your kids did right while helping them rid anything that made things harder.
For professors and some teachers, remember that the spring term means a new opportunity to influence and wow your students. Recall which class exercises students found enthralling and engaging and do your best to reincorporate them into your lesson plans. Of course, not all class exercises will go the way you want, and there’s nothing wrong with trying them again if you feel a few changes will result in better outcomes.


Take it One Day at a Time

If your fall semester seemed jumbled and chaotic, planners can help you stay focused. For example, if you’re a teacher that also happens to coach a sport, planners can help you divide your time evenly between the classroom and sports field. Set dates dedicated to grading papers or forming lesson plans so you can avoid the stress of coaching practice and then taking care of schoolwork well into the night. College professors usually don’t handle sports, however, a planner can still make things easier for you, especially if you teach different courses in a single term.
If your child is a primary or secondary student who loves sports, remember that poor grades will affect their chances of participating in athletics. Planners can also help them decide which days or times will be dedicated to homework and studying, especially if they ran into this problem in the fall.

If weekdays work best for practice and weekends serve better for studying, then write it down and stick to it. If there’s one thing a student athlete can’t afford to do, it’s letting grades slip or their performance dwindle on the field.


When the Going Gets Tough

This tip is specifically for students. We understand that balancing schoolwork, sports, friends, social media, video games and family life can throw your entire term into disarray. Just remember that you aren’t alone in your education. Your parents and teachers are there to help you with any issues you might be having.
If you feel that you’re falling behind in your schoolwork or need more help with a topic, chapter or particular lesson, talk to your teacher. Many are willing to help their students catch up or better understand a certain topic. Teachers tend to be more generous and sympathetic when they see that students are putting in the extra effort to come in and talk with them.
If you feel that you need to sit down and express your feelings in a more private environment, then that’s where your guidance counselor comes in. When dealing with life, we know it can feel like you’re all alone. Trust us, your guidance counselor knows what you’re going through since, chances are, your friends and fellow students may have gone through something similar.
And last, but definitely not least, your parents can be your closest confidants. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with what’s going on in your life, chances are high that your parents have noticed. Talk to them whenever you can. Express your fears or concerns with school, sports or anything else going on in your life. You might be surprised to know that they went through something similar at your age! 

Aim for Success

Anticipating the spring semester can be stressful for the educator and the student, but that doesn’t mean you should deal with your issues alone. Rice Psychology Group is familiar with the problems teachers and students face in the classroom and we want for you to be successful. If you feel that our team of psychologists can help you get through the spring term or any problem having to do with education, then reach out to us in Tampa today to schedule an appointment. 

Do you have a tip to help others aim for success as they head back to classes next year? Click over to our blog post and leave your comment there!

Best Wishes...


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