As you transition from your previous school to a public charter school in Reno, you may be overwhelmed with advice to help set the stage for your academic success. People close to you may ask things like, “Why do you want to change schools?”; “Do you really think you are ready?”; and “Are you sure you can handle it?”. Be strong and stay the course! These same individuals who seem less encouraging with their questions may actually turn around and give you some excellent academic advice, including to take things seriously, keep a schedule, write down your deadlines, stay on top of your work, create a social network to support you, show up to your classes, develop a habit of going to the library and tutoring center, and more. These are all GREAT suggestions and will prove to be helpful in your academic success.
As you begin receiving and then implementing the suggestions of others, you are strongly encouraged to put together a list of the best academic advice you have received. This advice can help you focus your attention, sharpen your skills, and see the relationships between everything you are learning. Begin your list with these three suggestions:
- Discover your own learning process. Find what you are truly passionate about and love doing. After identifying your passion, you will have the unique ability to discover your own individual learning process. For example, my two brothers loved tinkering with things, from lawn mowers to power tools to cars. It wasn’t my thing, but the two of them found that their learning process centered around taking something apart and putting it back together. They actually excelled at this and generalized the information to other things like building houses, doing electrical work, plumbing, and more. These two would have done best in classes where the instructor would take apart the example and then show how it was put back together, or in classes that utilized the teaching method of guided practice.
- Share what you learn. The absolute best way to learn is to teach. Aristotle said, “Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” However, you need to be careful with how you do this, when you do it, and who you do it with! Some people may not be open to hearing about what you are learning, but you can share your new knowledge with those who are interested by writing a blog, posting on social media, discussing with others in your class, or making a presentation or video. There are many methods to ensure that other people hear, read, or see the information that you are sharing. This is a form of validation; don’t take silence as acceptance. Take the exercise seriously and you will find yourself researching the topic more to uncover all the answers so that you are sure you are sharing the correct information.
- Apply what you are learning. Traveling to different cities, states, or countries is an amazing opportunity that, if done correctly, will prove to be a lifelong learning treasure trove. Sightseeing and spending time touring different places is most beneficial to the academic learning process when you go with a general purpose in mind. If cost is a factor, consider accomplishing this through virtual tours.
As an example, my wife loves to travel and always seems to apply what she discovers to her already vast knowledge of World War II history. The key is that she travels with a general purpose to uncover what was going on in different parts of the world during or around the time of World War II. She applies her previous experiences to investigate more information and uncover the relationships to World War II with regard to finance, geography, politics, science, movies, and more.
If you are a Reno student looking to start your public charter school experience, you must follow the traditional academic advice of staying organized, keeping up with your homework, and developing daily habits of studying at certain times and places. In addition, you should begin compiling a list of useful, relevant academic advice and follow it as well. Begin with discovering your own learning process, sharing what you learn, and applying what you are learning!