Lindsey Figueroa, Career and College Advisor, at Academy of Tucson High School gave us these personal insights into ways our AOTHS students can stay organized, safe and engaged while distance learning.
1. What are the most important study habits for High School students?
My #1 recommendation is to use a planner or calendar to stay organized! Recording important due dates and tasks is integral to successfully juggling classes and responsibilities. Check emails / Google Classroom frequently. Also, an organized workspace is important for focus, especially while we are working online!
2. Can implementing good study habits become easier? How?
Yes! Incorporating supportive habits into our lives is hard at first, but give it about three weeks' time, and it will become a routine (for real! Studies say 21 days). Not only will they become habits, you will start to see the benefits and can start making progress goals.
It could also help to reward yourself when you meet those personal goals-- leisure time, active time, little treats or a sticker chart-- whatever you find motivating.
3. What tips for staying organized and on top of responsibilities can you offer?
Definitely a planner! Everyone's preferences are different here: Student planners are great, some like agenda apps (Google Calendar or ZenDay), others prefer to use a notebook with a calendar and list priorities. I always recommend using highlighters or colored pens to prioritize tasks and to ceremoniously check them off when completed.
You should also be mindful to organize your documents in Google Drive-- naming documents clearly and putting them in folders for each class is a great place to start!
In Google Classroom, be sure to hit "SUBMIT" when you are finished with an assignment, it will turn it in to your teacher and mark it as "Complete" in the Classwork tab.
4. How should students stay actively engaged in their learning?
Take notes! It might be easy to skip this step while we are learning remotely, but there are many studies that show the act of writing something down helps us retain the information. Old-fashioned notebooks might be best, but typing notes is useful, too.
Ask questions! If something is confusing or difficult, reach out to your teacher.
Teach someone! Discuss with your family the topics introduced in your classes, maybe you can teach them something new!
5. What to do when negative thoughts or burnout starts to creep in?
First, know that it is OK to feel whatever you are feeling. Then, take a break to do something light or relaxing-- take a walk, call a friend or have a dance party! Yoga, meditation, prayer and journaling can feel supportive when we start to feel "over it."
If you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities, you can make a list of your priorities, trying to focus on the most timely or important things. Pick ONE thing at a time to focus on.
6. What are the biggest pitfalls to avoid?
Tuning out! It can be tempting to evade responsibilities when they are piling up, but that just ensures they will become mountainous. Communicate with your support system-- family, teachers, friends-- when you are feeling your responsibilities slide.
Take a break, make a plan and stay tuned-in!
7. How to address cyberbullying, feelings of isolation or frustration with something happening at home?
Cyberbullying can take many forms and be very hurtful. If you are experiencing this, it is best to IGNORE the bully, block them and tell an adult at home and at school.
You are not responsible for how others treat you, do not blame yourself if you are mistreated by others.
This period of isolation can bring up a lot of uncomfortable feelings at times. It's OK to acknowledge that weird feeling, and If things become overwhelming, it is a good practice to write out or list your thoughts-- circling the things you can actually do something about and crossing out things that you can't control. You might, for example, circle the project you have coming up, the difficult conversation you've been putting off and this week's chores; you might cross out the closed movie theatre, a financial concern or an argument that you're not involved in.
It's also helpful to list the PEOPLE you can turn to for support and the PLACES you can go when you want to feel better.
I can imagine at some point during the pandemic, you have or will experience something frustrating at home. It's OK to ask for time to be alone, it is also OK to ask for someone at home or at school to listen to you.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Do you have questions about reopening, distance learning or enrollment? We are here to help. Give us a call today.
Elementary School: 520-886-6076
Middle School: 520-749-1413
High School: 520-733-0096
To ensure everyone's safety, our campuses are open for tours 9 AM-3 PM by appointment only. In accordance with the Tucson/Pima County mask mandate, masks must be worn during tours. Please call to schedule.