Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to catch up!

One of the most common issues that students face here at COVA is falling behind. There can be so many reasons that one could fall behind. Hospitalization, connectivity issues, and disorganization are just a few things that can throw you off track. You may just miss a day or two, or for some, you may be a week or more behind. Falling behind is scary, frustrating, and can be overwhelming!!

So, what do you do when you are behind?? After working with thousands of students in the virtual classroom over the past four years, here is what I have learned.

  1. Make your newly assigned work your highest priority. I know, it seems strange right? I have this MOUNTAIN of make up work, and now you are telling me to do my new work?? Shouldn't I start at the beginning? Well, it does depend on what you are missing, however, whenever possible, start each day off by completing THAT day's assigned work in every single course. Then, go back and complete at least one of your missing assignments!
  2. You will have to put in extra hours. Sit down with your leaning coach and organize a schedule. Again, you should plan about six hours per day to complete your newly assigned work in each course. Then, plan to put in some overtime completing old/missing work. It will make for some long days, but if you put in the time, your missing work pile will disappear quickly and soon you will be able to return to a normal length school day.
  3. Plan to work on the weekends. This is the absolute key! You can make significant headway on old/missing work over the weekends because you don't have your six "normal" school hours. Think how much make up work you can get done if you dedicate those six hours to it! WOW!
  4. Go for big point assignments. If there is simply not enough time to get it all done, go to your gradebook in the course and find large point assignments. Things like tests and labs are going to be your first priority!
  5. Communicate with your teachers. Let them know that you are behind, why you are behind, and ask for a list of what you need to make up! We are here to help you! Come into Tutor Time so we can help you move quickly through some of your missing work! This is especially important if you have fallen significantly behind. There may be some assignments that you are no longer allowed to earn credit for. You don't want to waste your time preparing for a test that you can't take!

Hopefully these five tips have helped you realize that there is a way out of the missing work mess! Please, do me a favor, if you have fallen behind, take a moment and contact your teacher today!! If you don't know if you are behind or not, contact your teacher!! If you are a learning coach and aren't sure how your student is doing, contact your student's teachers! :) (notice a trend??) ;)

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