First Things First: Establishing Priorities in Your Academics
It’s Tuesday. You’re heading to play practice from soccer practice when you suddenly remember that today is exactly one week from the date your grades are due for your college application! You have only three or four assignments left . . . everything should be fine! You arrive home after soccer practice to discover that your cousin from out of town has dropped by for a visit. You can start the final assignments tomorrow . . . tomorrow night, that is . . . after you return home from your after-school job. Suddenly you realize that with only seven days left and no free time in your near future, finishing this course and obtaining the grades you need to get into college will be far more difficult than you thought.
When students find themselves in such situations, it can be tempting to try to take short cuts, but efforts such as “borrowing” ideas from others will not produce positive outcomes. While collaborating with classmates or tutors can be appropriate, there is a fine line between working with others and what Virtual High School considers cheating. Learn more about where this fine line falls by checking out our video:
Life is busy. Though your student life represents only a part of what and who you are, prioritizing your studies will increase your access to future opportunities and will help you achieve your goals. Because you have so many other responsibilities, learning to plan ahead is a crucial skill that will serve you in many aspects of your academic and personal life. Learn about establishing priorities here:
Remember, anything you submit for evaluation must be your own work. If you wish to collaborate with others, it is best to do so on the lessons and practice work, rather than on assessments and final summative pieces. Students who share ideas about assignments may still be suspected of cheating in the same way that teachers consider students to have been academically dishonest when they copy directly from others. The work you submit for evaluation must reflect your own learning. Take time to create a study schedule to ensure that you leave enough time to engage in quality learning . . . and to make time for all the other important aspects of your life.
Caitlin Carr is the English, French, and ESL Department Head at Virtual High School. She has been working in education for six years and is passionate about providing equitable learning opportunities for all students. She enjoys creating media projects to engage students in conversations about complex topics such as Academic Integrity.
Jessica Bickell has spent the majority of her time as an educator in the online space, and currently works for VHS as the Vice Principal. When she isn’t busy signing report cards, she enjoys working with the departments and multimedia team to create instructional videos. In her time off, she likes to stay active, travel the world, and play with her nieces and nephews.