21+ tips from teachers to get organised at high school

Best tips to get organised at high school

I’ve got two in high school this year – Year 7 and Year 8 – but we still feel really new to it all. Especially the workload. Trying to help two not-very-organised kids get organised at high school is doing my head in.

I tried to find some tips for high school organisation around the internets, but there was remarkably little information out there. So, I decided to go directly to those who are in the trenches with our high schoolers every day:  the teachers.

What would a teacher’s best tips for getting organised at high school be? The answers are surprisingly varied, somewhat eye-opening, but very useful.


RELATED: 20+ homework tips to take the hassle out of homework


20+ tips from teachers to get organised at high school

Same time, next week

Diarise time with your child. Ask you child when it would be convenient for them, according to their diary, to meet with you to discuss the upcoming week/ month/ term.”
Peta, Year adviser and EALD teacher

“It’s easy for a schedule to slip away from a young teen. Get your student into the habit of reviewing their workload once a week at roughly the same time.”
Mary, 12+ years English teacher

“A daily check-in works well.”
Amanda, 7+ years HSIE teacher

“I’m a big believer in routine – a set time each day to either do homework or revision is a good idea.”
Ian, Maths and EALD teacher

Support learning

“There’s a lot of talk in the later years of primary school about independent learning. The first couple of years of high school are when you go back to a bit of hand-holding. Don’t assume your child knows how to study, organise themselves or even learn. Help them out.”
Ann-Marie, 20+ years HSIE teacher and deputy principal

“During your weekly meeting, plan the week together: assignments, excursions, sports uniform… Use simple templates for planning repeatedly until your child has internalised the process and can do it by themselves.”
Peta, Year adviser and EALD teacher

“An organised parent usually has an organised kid.”
Ian, Maths and EALD teacher

[Editor’s note: Thanks Ian, but I happen to know this is not one bit true 😂. ]

“It might depend on your school, but staying in touch with teachers via email is a great way to keep on top of what your child needs from you.”
Aaron, Maths and PE teacher

“An organised student generally has a parent who is staying on top of them. Organisation is a learned skill and some catch on quicker than others. Don’t leave your child to manage on their own what is often a really complex schedule.”
Lucy, 8+ years English teacher

Organised systems

“Find an organisational system that suits your child! They won’t stick with it otherwise.”
Ann-Marie, 20+ years HSIE teacher and deputy principal

“A two-clear plastic folder system works well for many students: one folder for work that is due later (assignment sheets and other docs); a second folder for work that is due this week.”
Aaron, Maths and PE teacher

“Remind your child every day: The work won’t do itself.”
Lucy, 8+ years English teacher

“Get into the habit of laying out everything you need for school the night before. You’ll sleep better knowing you are prepared well for the next day. Sleep is the best way to stay organised, trust me.”
Ann-Marie, 20+ years HSIE teacher and deputy principal

“A wall calendar above the desk is a visual reminder of what’s coming up. Diaries tend to be left in school bags and never see the light of day outside of school.”
Jodie, Year adviser and Science teacher

“Younger high-schoolers need daily reminders. Ask your child, “What’s due today, what are you working on today, what do you need to get ready today?””
Lucy, 8+ years English teacher

Study tips

“It starts with teaching good note taking skills. If the notes aren’t good, study will be hard. If you think your child isn’t creating good notes, talk to their teachers about learning some new techniques.”
Jodie, Year adviser and Science teacher

“Regular and often is the only way. Cramming doesn’t stick.”
Ian, Maths and EALD teacher

“As a Maths teacher, I can’t emphasise the necessity of revision enough. Go over the work again and again and again – and put your hand up if you don’t know how to do something. You won’t learn by staying silent.”
Aaron, Maths and PE teacher

“Know your learning style. You might study better recording your notes, or creating charts, or by doing. Talk to your teachers about what would suit you best.”
Jodie, Year adviser and Science teacher

“Setting up your own quiz is a good way to revise your work.”

“Quizzes are so underrated. Setting up your own quiz is a good way to revise your work. Having someone test you on your quiz is a great way to check that you have learned the work.”
Amanda, 7+ years HSIE teacher

Write things down. Most of us do better when we have physically written what we want to know down on paper. Typing it on a screen doesn’t seem to work as well.”
Mary, 12+ years English teacher

Staying motivated

“So many kids don’t know what they want to be when they leave school. That’s absolutely fine, but it does make it easy to use the excuse “when am I going to use this?” and tune out of classwork. The fact is, you’ll use your ability to learn your whole life, no matter where life takes you.”
Ian, Maths and EALD teacher

“What motivates you outside of school? What are your values? What makes you happy?”
Aaron, Maths and PE teacher

“Take regular breaks when you’re studying or doing homework. Do something you like that is hopefully active.”
Jodie, Year adviser and Science teacher

“Marks aren’t the be-all, end-all but working towards the best mark you can get is good motivation. To increase your chances, make careful note of what’s expected in the assignment and make sure you cover off all the points.”
Amanda, 7+ years HSIE teacher

Do it for YOU. Not for your parents, not for your teachers, not for your friends. Do the best you can at school because you know you deserve it.”
Jodie, Year adviser and Science teacher

Thank you to all the teachers gave their time and good advice to this article. We appreciate you!

Image by Anete Lūsiņa 

Maxabella

Founder

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here.

Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than seven years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

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