It is the job of every high school teacher to prepare students for college. Of course, you must teach your students the grade-level content knowledge they need to progress in your subject, but there are other important aspects of developing college-ready students. Huntington recommends focusing on four of them:
Encourage independence. College students absolutely must be able to think on their own, work independently, seek out resources, and motivate themselves. Teach your students to take ownership of their work, self-advocate, and communicate effectively with you and their classmates.
Foster good study habits. If your students don’t have solid study skills/habits by the time they graduate high school, they’ll struggle in college. Work on developing organizational and time management skills and show your students how to create detailed work plans for projects and ongoing assignments.
Teach note-taking skills. Another essential study tool is note-taking. Notes should summarize concepts covered in class and not simply repeat a class lecture or the textbook. They need to be organized and easy to read. (Check out the Cornell note-taking system if you’re not already familiar.)
Build critical thinking. You’ve heard it plenty: today’s market demands professionals who are adaptable and able to solve complicated problems. That requires critical thinking, which you can nurture by encouraging your students to analyze information thoroughly, share their reasoning, engage in debate, and connect ideas.
You have a big opportunity to help your students make a smooth transition to college. Go beyond teaching your subject and you’ll give your students a solid foundation for long-term success.