Hand in work on time [book excerpt]

First, be organized about writing down assignments and due dates—use an agenda!

Second, don’t procrastinate.

Third, if you encounter a problem that may cause your work to be late, talk to the teacher before the assignment is due.

Years ago, I was a summer camp counselor. Before the campers arrived, all the counselors had a few days to prepare. On our first day, we sat in a big circle on the lawn in front of the main building. There were about fifty of us, and two-thirds of us were there for the first time. The Director, a lady who was almost seventy years old, went around the circle, without notes, and introduced each one us to the others. She knew our names, where we were from, and where we were going to school.

When she had finished introducing all fifty of us, she said, “Each of you will be responsible for about a dozen campers. We have a folder for each camper, with their photos, and when they get off the bus on Wednesday I expect you to greet each one of your campers by name.”

Until then, I had convinced myself that I was no good at remembering people’s names. My camp director convinced me otherwise. I learned that remembering names was a simple matter of desire, determination, and effort. We can all do it, if we really want to.

Being on time with homework assignments is also a simple matter of desire, determination, and effort. If you think it is really important—and it is—you will make the effort that’s required.

If you hand in your work late (more than very occasionally), you are sending a very unfortunate message to your teachers: you are telling them that you don’t really care—NOT the message you want to send!

At first, if you have developed bad habits in this area, finishing work on time will require focus and concentration. As time passes, however, working on time will become habitual, an almost automatic reflex, and the effort required will decrease considerably.

Use an agenda. Enlist the help of your teachers, your Advisor or Homeroom Teacher, and your parents. Use the Homework Tracker, which you can download from my website. Do everything you can to develop the crucially important habit of finishing your work on time!

Author: Eric

I have been teaching English since 1980 in the United States, Morocco, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, The Netherlands, and China. Good Habits, Good Students is my first book.

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