Improving Grades from English to History:
Real learning is at the heart of all grade improvements.
Many students have learned to hide gaps in academic understanding. Hiding non-understanding is habit forming and creates feelings of low self esteem. My job is to gently discover what a student truly knows and to help them, without judgment, to discover what they don’t understand.
In order to write, students need topics that inspire them. I teach students how to uncover what interests them. I also bring writing exercises and games that sharpen the skills necessary for good writing: analysis, vivid description, clarity, flow, depth, and organization of thought. I find that when students understand that writing is a process, they easily overcome blocks and learn to write freely and comfortably.
Organizational skills are at the core of my teaching practice. I help all of my students develop ways to track their time and their assignments. Some students use paper planners, while others use phone apps and online calendars. What matters most is finding a strategy that feels easy and helpful. Being organized also extends to where and when homework is begun and how to pace through it. The systems I teach are as unique as the student.
Study skills are an essential ingredient for all successful students. Once I help a student set up a customized organizational system, I address preparing for tests, planning long term assignments, getting extra help at school, learning to use time on weekends and reading for better comprehension. Good study skills help a student feel positive about school.
By listening and asking questions, I tune into a student’s school day, what they learn in class, the overall school environment, their classroom participation and behavior as well as other things going on in their lives. While there is no magic wand to instantly transform an unmotivated student, having an attentive and supportive ally creates the foundation for change.
Part of my service is to help build a bridge between home and school. Frequently, I work with parents, teachers and school administrators to address important academic issues for individual students. By keeping parents/guardians informed of their teenager’s nightly workload, I help reduce parent/teen relationship tension. In addition, I see wonderful things happen when an underchallenged student gets transferred to a more challenging class as a result of communications between myself and the school counselor.