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Two More (5 & 6 of 10) Lessons Your Children are Learning in School
  • Calendar Apr 06, 2018
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
  • Comments 0 Comments
Lesson 5: I have a bad grade in math, therefore I'm bad at math. Substitute any other class in for math. I speak with students every day who believe a story of “I am bad at [subject]” They perhaps have a history of poor performance in the subject and feel discouraged despite doing what they believe to be the right things. It lowers their engagement in the material, it lessens their attention in class, and it becomes painful to even work through the homework (though, dutifully, they do it). The Truth: There are any number of reasons why a student might have poor grades in a subject. Boredom, poor planning, not studying enough or the right way, And these are just reasons the student has control over! But far too often I meet with students who have bought into the story of “I’m bad at history” and when we dig into it we find other reasons for the struggle beside a lack of natural ability or intelligence. One of my favorite counter examples is a former student of ours who came in for chemistry support in high school. She hated chem, hated biology, because she was “bad at science”. Several years later, we had the good fortune to have her join our team as a science instructor between getting her bachelors in biochemistry and going to dental school. Her secret: she changed her story after getting the help she needed and realized that she could succeed. Certainly, people have different skillsets and aptitudes, but there is often much more to a student’s struggles than “I’m bad at math”. Lesson 6: If you have a “bad” teacher, you can’t succeed. I put “bad” in quotes because, like with any profession, there certainly are bad teachers, but a "bad" teacher might, for example, just have a communication style that doesn’t mesh with a particular student. It’s easy to look at a class many students are failing and say, “Well, clearly the teacher is the problem. There is no way to succeed in this situation!” And as more and more students mentally check out of the class, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The truth: People overcome more difficult challenges than a bad teacher every day. I certainly don’t want to minimize the challenge of succeeding in a class with a teacher that isn’t ideal for your son or daughter. Life is going to be full of challenges. The key is this: don’t dwell on the aspect of the problem you can’t control. When we work with students who say they have a bad teacher, we acknowledge that they have a difficult situation, and move past that to solutions. Focus your effort and attention on the aspects you do have direct control over. Getting a tutor can be one solution, but forming study groups, watching videos online, practicing more than just the assigned homework, etc, can all be part of the solution. Few things feel better than rising above a challenging situation! Finals are here at La Jolla High and Muirlands Middle...is your son or daughter ready? Call or email to schedule some time for class support or organizational/planning support today!  
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