Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

5 Ways To Be A Great Student

Students, I give you complete permission to procrastinate your homework for 10 minutes to read and absorb this post. Or maybe you aren’t doing your homework right now, in which I ask you to procrastinate procrastinating for a little bit.

Teachers, for the most part, think you guys are great. We invest in your lives, and we love watching you grow into the people we dreamed you would be. (Or at least I do!) While we want you to understand our content and pass our class, we mostly just want you to take something, anything, from our lessons and bring it with you through your life.

That’s why we want you to be the best you can be. We want you to be great!



There is so much more to being a great student than grades, though they are important! Being great students will shape us into great professionals and great people. We’re given the tools in school to achieve good grades, but it is often overlooked how those tools combined with the following leadership values can contribute to a student’s professional future.

Students – here are 5 ways to go from “good” to “great.”


1. Set future goals.

Sure, you may not know what you want to study in college or what career path is right for you, and that’s ok. Examine the here and now. What are you interested in right now? Writing for the school newspaper? Singing in choir? Acting in the school play? Math? Science? Whatever it is, which may be more than one, compose 2-3 goals that you can complete either at the end of the semester, school year, or by graduation. Make every day thereafter about reaching those goals.

2. Get organized.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s really important! Especially in today’s world of productivity apps designed to help you get things done. I use Weave, but there are a lot of other great free apps that just as good. There are even apps geared specifically to students. Check them out, use them. Put your goals in them if it helps! You may want to check out Evernote too, for any class notes, projects, or papers that you may want to save.

3. Do your homework.

Obviously, complete your assignments on time. However, I’m not talking about assignments; I mean be inquisitive, curious, and proactive. Look at your goals. Who has achieved them? How did they do it? Observe them and put it in to practice. It’s about being a student outside the classroom. The more you know about the path, the more likely you are to find it. (<–Click to tweet that!)

4. Take risks.

No, I don’t mean see how many classes you can skip without being caught, or not studying for a test. Please don’t do that!

You may see this as “be an overachiever,” and in a way, maybe that’s what this is. I would say it’s more thinking outside the box. How can you contribute your talents in an extra way to an assignment? Into photography? Maybe there’s a way you can get your science teacher to document your lab report instead of just writing it. Be creative. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you can put your own spin on an assignment as long as you meet the criteria. The benefit will be greater.

5. Help your teachers.

You call them brown-nosers, I call them smart! Helping a teacher out who knows about your area of interest is a great way to do your homework. I used to help my teachers sort music, label music, make copies of handouts. Needless to say, when I got to college and changed my career path to teaching, I knew how to make a copy machine and printer bow down to me. Teachers exist not just to assess you, but to provide mentorship. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience.

So what do you think students? Do you think you can be great? Here’s a challenge: Try one of these 5 items this week. Try it for a month. Tweet me or leave a comment letting me know how it’s going, or if there are ways I can help!

About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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