At the start of each term, in our InterConnect lesson, we look at goal setting and time management. Students are asked to reflect on their goals and progress from the previous term and then use that reflection to formulate relevant goals for this term and write these in their Connect Journals. However, as Saint-Exupèry said, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish’. So subsequent to that, our students are asked to examine their time management and planning strategies. Are they effective and are they helping them achieve their goals?
At QACI, we encourage our students to use a three-step process when managing their time. And there are planning templates for each of these steps that our students can access on the Student Intranet* under Strive, if they don’t already have their own preferred templates.
The first step is to populate their Semester Planner with their due dates to give them an overall picture. The second step is to plot a Weekly Timetable with all their activities, classes, commitments, as well as downtime, exercise time and social, family time so that they can see when there is study time available. And step three involves drawing up their Daily To Do list. Our Year 10s are across six subjects and Year 11s and 12s can be across nine different curriculum components at the one time, so this is no mean feat! Particularly when you consider the other commitments and activities that form part of their lives.
So how can you help? One effective way is through being a ‘critical friend’. A ‘critical friend’ is someone who checks in with you, who holds you to account - but in a compassionate and supportive way. So for example, asking questions like:
How did you go with your ‘to do list’ today?
What went well for you this week – did you stick to your plan? What could you do differently next week? Maybe you’ve allocated too much time to Netflix overall?
What do you need to prioritise?
What little step can you take right now towards your goal?
Knowing that someone cares and is interested in how you’re going is a great motivator!
If this topic interests you and you would like to know more, Elevate Education, an external Study Skills provider who run workshops from time to time with our students at QACI, are running a free parents and carers webinar on time management and study smarts on Thursday 28 May, 6pm.
To sign up, click here.