Educational Tips

Below please find a few tips that can help you get the most out of your education:

  • Take responsibility for your own education. How much you learn is up to you.
  • Be an active participant in the educational process: ask questions, express your ideas, seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Get to know your professors.
  • Go to class regularly, on time and alert.
  • Keep an open mind; we often learn the most from those with opposing opinions and “crazy ideas.”
  • Make friends with classmates who have backgrounds different from your own.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to supplement your coursework. Volunteer for the community, pursue a special project in an area of interest, get involved in campus activities.
  • Use the multitude of resources available at USF and throughout the city of San Francisco.

Managing your time effectively

The best students are not always the brightest – just the most skilled time managers. Here are some quick tips on the subject:

  • Plan to spend about 3 hours per week studying for every hour of class time; if you’re taking 15 units you will need to schedule 45 hours per week for studying.
  • Develop your weekly schedule: schedule all classes, work hours, study time, class time, campus activities, exercise and recreation. Remember that sleep accounts for approximately 56 hours per week, and with studying taking up about 45 hours per week, you only have 64 hours of the week left! Plan your time wisely!
  • Be realistic in planning your schedule – and then live by it.
  • Using your syllabus from each of your classes, record in your appointment book the dates that all tests are scheduled and all papers, presentations and projects are due.
  • Prioritize your tasks when you sit down to study. Do the most pressing and the most challenging first.
  • Study in a place where potential distractions are minimized. (Beware of the telephone if you study at home.)
  • Allow yourself frequent short breaks when studying to rejuvenate your ability to concentrate.
  • Use your time between classes, waiting for the bus, or standing in line to review notes of chapters or memorize terms.
  • Start studying for exams a week before they are scheduled. Discover problem areas before it is too late to resolve them.
  • Review and edit class notes as soon as possible after class, preferably within 24 hours.
  • Preview reading assignments, study introductions and summaries, and develop a list of questions to seek answers to before actually reading a chapter.

How Do You Deal With Students Who Are Disruptive?

Reprinted with permission from the AFT Communications Association, Oct./Nov. 1997

If you haven’t yet encountered a student who is just plain disruptive, consider yourself fortunate. And consider your options, too, because chances are sooner or later one of those students will show up in your classroom.

Here are some proven techniques you may want to consider:

  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with all of your students.
  • Show respect for your students’ dignity and find ways to foster their self-esteem.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor and remain calm.
  • Explain, teach and enforce rules and consequences.
  • Be consistent and fair.
  • Try to discover the cause of the problem.
  • Have high expectations for all students.
  • Respond immediately to potentially disruptive situations.
  • Use active listening.
  • Use private confrontation when appropriate.
  • Avoid power struggles.
  • Remove students as quickly as possible from the disruptive situation.
  • Use positive reinforcement when students do well.
  • Model correct behavior.
  • Source: John C. Shaughnessy, Maureen Coughlin and Kathryn Smith, “Dealing with Disruptive Behavior in High School Classrooms,” The High School Magazine, June/July 1997 (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191, 703/860-0200)