Student Teacher Advice Column: How Do you Get Back into School Routines?


Claire Lawrence, Reporter

“Do you have any advice on how I can get organized and back into the routine of school after being on winter break?”


Student response:

 A good resolution to have for the new year is to be more organized, so it’s great that you are working towards being more responsible. I have a couple of ideas as for keeping yourself accountable. You may want to start by going through all of your papers from the last semester if you haven’t already. However, make sure you don’t throw away any papers you need for things like science notebooks or studying. Throwing away homework you did well on and meaningless handouts are the best bet, but never throw away noted for any class. I would recommend keeping them in separate folders at home instead of having them clutter up your binder. You should keep all notes because they will be key for studying for finals, Pre-SAT, or STAAR tests. As far as organizing your current homework and schedule, I always use a planner. Not all planners need to be decorated and girly, I just use a simple black planner. It only has a 12-month layout for calendars and simple weekly layouts. It’s simple and lets me keep track of schoolwork. Instead of keeping your pencils in a binder, using a pencil case is a way to instantly up your organization.

Remember to always keep your desk clean if you work at a desk. Working at a desk is proven to give students more focus than working in bed. Also, while doing homework never watch Netflix or lyric music, as this is also distancing. There are plenty of playlists on Spotify and Youtube that has music specifically for studying. As far as getting back into school, I have a few tips. Make sure that you are waking up on time and not pressing the sleep button two or more times. If your parents wake you up, they shouldn’t have to come in more than once. One way to force yourself to get up is by putting your phone or alarm clock on a place in your room that you have to get up to turn off. If you are able to stay in bed while pressing snooze you are likely to go back to sleep. Taking a showing in the morning is definitely a great way to wake you up, and it will leave you refreshed and ready for the day. As well as taking a shower, be sure to breakfast. If you can’t do that in the morning, CVMS provides a cheap and yummy lunch in the mornings. My last tip is to make sure to start the semester off strong by doing all of your homework on time and studying for important grades. If you start off the six weeks with a good grade it will release some of the stress of having to catch up if you start with a bad grade, and raise optimism and morale for the coming year.

Mrs. Piliere’s response:

This is some advice I could use myself, to be honest. But okay, let me put on my teacher mind and let’s all get back to this! It’s so easy to fall out of all of the good habits you spent time developing the first semester when you’re on winter break. I know this because it happens to me every year! I know I know, you’d expect more from your teachers, and as shocking as it may be for you to hear, we are but flawed human beings who sometimes get lazy and unmotivated. Withhold your shock, and let’s move on.
My best advice is to remember throughout these first few days that the goal is to take it one day at a time. Many of my students are tired, adjusting to early mornings and earlier bedtimes (or realizing that they should be implementing earlier bedtimes and didn’t – oops), and I think all of the adults in their lives completely get it. I know I do. As stated above, I’m with them! But there are things we can collectively do to help get back into the swing of things and reestablish our routines. For example, no matter how tempting it is to stay up late and enjoy the night, I force myself to get into bed early, even if I feel like I can’t fall asleep. I turn my TV off, put my phone on the charger, and if I REALLY can’t sleep, I’ll read until I feel drowsy and shut off the lights. I also find stretching and yoga before bed super calming. Another suggestion would be to try and expend your energy after school so that you rest well and wake up refreshed. Getting outside, seeing your friends, taking walks with your parents, any of that will help you refocus. So much of this time of year is retraining our minds to focus on our goals, and to achieve this, we really need to take care of ourselves to make space for the new information and skills we will be learning in the year to come.
When it comes to schoolwork, remind yourself of what you want to achieve this year. I would recommend writing down those goals in your ELA notebook that I know every one of you is asked to maintain and check back in on them every so often to see how you are doing. Before we know it, the days will be flying by again and it will feel like winter break never happened. Until then, I promise you, we will all make it! Also, maybe a few extra naps this weekend will help (or is it just me dreaming of those?).

Have a burning question you want answered? Go here.