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Lauren Weber is the Social Studies Department Chair at the Insight School of Kansas.

One thing that I love about the New Year as a teacher is that it’s a time to press reset and have a fresh start.  I love that my students have the same opportunity. Maybe first semester didn’t go as well as they had planned or maybe they knocked it out of the park, either way, I think it is fantastic that they get a “new” start.

Here are some tips for online students get the New Year off to a great start!

1.       Freshen up your work space: Unless you are Mr. or Miss. Clean, chances are you may need to declutter your work space. Get rid of any trash or old scape paper that you no longer need.  If you didn’t have a designated work space in the fall, consider finding a space you can make your own for the spring. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you will definitely want to be near an outlet to keep your laptop or computer charged as well as good light.

1.       Replenish your supplies: While you are setting up your work space be sure to replenish your supplies. The good news is, since we are an online school, not too many extra supplies are needed, but be sure to have pens, pencils, a highlighter, scratch paper and/or notebooks handy.

2.       Create a schedule: A new semester will most likely bring new classes and a new schedule. Be sure to create a schedule with all of your class times. I recommend including help sessions that your teacher’s offer as well so that you can easily take a glance and see when your teacher has time scheduled in case you are stuck on an assignment. Don’t forget to include a lunch break and other times for brain breaks! It is very easy to sit at your computer all day long and work without the reminder or a traditional bell schedule of a brick and mortar, but it is imperative that you take the opportunity to step away. Maybe you can get up and stretch, go for a short walk, grab a snack and enjoy a bit of downtime before you get back to your studies.

3.       Reach out to teachers if you struggled in the past: Do not forget, teachers are here to help you. We want to you to succeed! Please feel free to reach out to your teachers with any questions you may have. Or you can ask for advice on what you could do differently to increase your performance this semester. The bottom line is, we are here for you.

4.       Set Goals: Just like some people set New Year resolutions, you should set semester goals. What are your goals for the semester? Are you hoping to accomplish a certain task? Maybe achieve a certain G.P.A.? Attend all live classes? Whatever your goals are, write them down so that you can refer back to them for motivation.  Even teachers set goals! I have a few goals already jotted down for the spring semester and I plan to add to it.

Have a great spring 2017 everyone!

About The Author

Lauren Weber

Lauren Weber is a high school world history teacher and the social studies department chair at Insight School of Kansas (ISKS). She has been with ISKS since 2009. Lauren graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2006. In 2008 she received her graduate teacher certification in secondary education-social studies, and she is currently working on her master's in administration-building leadership. Lauren enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports with her kids, and baking.

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