How to Succeed at ANY Course in SchoolFrom Kindergarten to a Ph.D.
There are five simple steps to being successful at school. If you do these little things, you are guaranteed to get the best marks possible!

1. Show up (on time): You can't experience the learning that goes on in the classroom if you are not there. If you go away on a long holiday, or decide to stay home for whatever reason, you are missing out on your education. Tardiness (showing up late) is understandable in an emergency (the car broke down on the way to school, for example). However, if it happens on a regular basis it is a sign of disrespect to your teachers and your classmates.Some students often show up late, and try to blame traffic or the weather. There's a simple answer: get up earlier! On a snowy or rainy morning, leave home ten or fifteen minutes early! Planning ahead will get you to school on time every day. This rule also means stay in the room. If you are constantly asking to leave to go to the toilet or get a drink, you are not in the room working. Plan your day so you can make pit stops during breaks and lunchtime, and carry a water bottle if you need frequent watering.

2. Be prepared to work (both materially and mentally): Learning does not dribble down on you like a gentle rain from heaven! You have to work to understand what's going on, and you need the right tools to do this. For every class, you should have all the materials you need (they will usually be listed in your course outline) and you need to show up prepared to work. If you are having a dispute with a friend, a rough day,are hungry or are tired, (for some examples), you need to leave your negativity and lack of focus at the door, and be prepared to do your best from the time you walk into the classroom until you leave it. This also means you should show up to school well-rested (most teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep per night) and you should have eaten a breakfast that includes protein (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or nuts).

3. Do the work that is asked of you (to the best of your ability): Believe me, your teacher hates marking as much as you hate homework (probably more). If you are assigned work, it is because she thinks it is important that you practice these skills (or review this information) and PROVE that you can do it. Your teacher puts hours into planning assignments, planning how to deliver them in class, standing up and teaching, marking, reporting, creating nice wikis, etc. It is insulting if you slap that paragraph together during lunch and scribble it on the back of a napkin in pencil. Doing the work is important because there are Prescribed Learning Outcomes that you HAVE TO prove you can meet before you pass your course; doing it to the best of your ability is important because when you slack off you are cheating yourself out of the education that you are here to get! Even if an assignment is not for marks, it is important to do it well. Usually, this kind of assignment is a stepping stone to something bigger, and if you haven't practiced on the small stuff, you won't be able to do the big stuff.

4. Hand in the work (on time): Doing all your work does you no good at all if it sits in your binder where nobody knows how amazing it is! If the assignment sits in your binder forever, you will have a mark of NHI in checkmymark (this counts as a 0). If you never do hand it in, your teacher will not have evidence that you meet the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (and you will fail!). So do yourself a favour and hand your work in on time! If you are sick, or on holidays, or on a field trip for band (or whatever), your work is still due on the due date. Have a plan for handing in your work if you have to be away.

In order to encourage you to get your work in on time, I have LATE ASSIGNMENT SLIPS that you must complete TWICE: once when the work is due, and again when you finally hand it in. So, if you choose to hand your work in late, you are making MORE work for yourself. Choose wisely.

If you are away on an extended absence (two weeks or more), all work must be made up within ONE WEEK of your return. This can be a problem, because you will be missing assignments in 4 or 5 courses! If your family is planning a long trip, you may want to consider doing a semester by correspondence in order to avoid this kind of problem. See Mr. Abernethy or Mrs. Faber in counselling for more information about this.

5. Ask for help when you need it: This is probably the most important one of all. Not everyone learns the same way, or at the same speed. There will be times when something is explained in class and you are left wondering "WHAT???". It can be scary to raise your hand and ask questions in class, but if YOU are wondering what's going on, probably others are, too. Think of it this way: it's not that you are stupid--it's that your teacher hasn't explained well enough yet. If you can't bring yourself to ask in front of others, you can make an appointment to see your teacher outside of class time, or ask someone else for help. Don't assume that you'll "get it" later; if you are lost now, you could be lost for a good long time! Also, make sure you are actually ASKING for help. If you come up to me and say, "I don't get this," you haven't actually ASKED any questions. You have simply made a statement. Make sure your message is clear. When you ask for help, try to ask specific questions--it makes it easier for me to help you if I know exactly where everything went blurry for you. "Can you help me with chapter seven?" is an ok question, but "I don't understand how the French Revolution was influenced by the Industrial Revolution. Can you go over that with me?" Is MUCH easier for me to help with!