Time-management skills essential to student success

At St. Stanislaus Kostka School in the Wicker Park/West Town neighborhood of Chicago, educators know that good time management and scheduling skills help their students succeed.

So teachers focus their curriculum around Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says Principal Marjorie Hill.

“St. Stan’s is on the forefront of innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and has embraced this approach since 2010,” she says.

Students are taught to act with integrity on their priorities, she says.

“This mindset results in higher productivity, greater life balance and often increased motivation,” she says. “We call this putting our big rocks first. In other words, work, then play.”

“Big rocks” can be different for different people, Hill says. Big rocks are established based on a student’s personal mission statement, the roles they have in life, and measurable and timed goals, she says.

The school also uses a Gantt chart to help students keep themselves organized. The chart is a bar graph that breaks down the steps of a project.

“We use this set of steps for both school-wide and personal goal setting,” she says. “As students grow older, the level of sophistication with the tool increases. But we believe starting with this mindset as early as possible will help our students develop habits that will allow them to be productive, reliable and stress-free.”

Part of Making the Grade, a special advertising education guide.

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