When it comes to teaching high school seniors, teachers know that they are dealing with more distractions than at any other grade level. Kids are starting to drive, getting after school jobs, and most importantly, applying to colleges. The best way to keep seniors engaged in class is to reach out and be a source of support while they are figuring out their next educational steps.
One way to help students with their college applications is to give them a schedule. Early in the school year, lead students to look up important dates for their applications and figure out when they need to apply. This is also the time to help students set up SAT/ACT practice schedules, or find tutoring centers. Students will appreciate having a teacher who sets a schedule for them and lets them see they can break down the application process into manageable steps.
Students will have to write a personal statement or essay for their applications. Offer to workshop their essays in class. This allows students to help each other fine tune their work. Teachers can also offer to read over their final drafts, to make sure they’re ready to put their best foot forward.
Students need teachers to writer letters of recommendation for them. Help make it an easier process for the teachers being asked, by having the students write an outline of important facts about them and their educational accomplishments over the years. They can give this to the teacher writing their recommendation and give them a starting point to help highlight details as to why this student deserves to be admitted into the college. Help students start this process early, so the teacher has ample time to complete the letter. After all, teachers may be writing multiple letters.
COLLEGE VISIT REFLECTIONS
Students often travel to visit their potential colleges over the weekends. When they return from these visits, assign them to write pros and cons and overall reflections about their experience. Teachers can also have students pair up with other students who went on visits and share their reactions. Talking it out and writing it down will help students better understand how they feel about the school and if it’s shaping up to be the right choice for them.
Finally, one of the best ways to support the students in their college application process is to schedule a meeting or phone call with their parent(s) to go over everything. Parents will be grateful to know there’s a teacher guiding their child on this journey, and they can look to the teacher as a source of important information for themselves. Keep the lines of communication open so details aren’t missed and they have the necessary support during this important step in the transition from high school to college.