Week 2: What’s worked and What has Not
Throughout my life, I have had a hot-cold relationship with beer.
I find that it works for me in small and seasonal doses.
Don’t get me wrong, beer is good! I love it when you invite me for one. It’s a fabulously social beverage with a rich history and recent decades have produced some excellent brews. Even Senator Warren and Justice Kavanaugh have testified their love of the bubbly beverage.
The question is: “Does it work for me?”
Maybe I love beer but I’m gluten-free, that doesn’t work.
Maybe I love beer but it’s hard to stop drinking it or maybe it simple impacts a good night’s sleep. In any case, I am challenged with determining what is best for me and then challenged with choosing based upon that determination.
The same is true for Just2 Tutoring students. We have the unique opportunity to not only support our students in productivity and quality grades but, more importantly, the opportunity to guide them in their own self-knowing. We get to work with kids one on one and this week we get to discuss their strategies for success.
Just2 Tutoring Kids know more than you might think
A great place to begin is in continuing the reflection we began last week as we reflect upon past performance. Based on this we can guide our students through an inventory of what has worked and what has not. I like to ask kids, “What is one thing that you do every semester that gets your results?” Conversely, we might ask, especially when the response is, “IDK” what is something that you have done or not done each semester which has lead to struggle and stress?”
In every opportunity recently presented, I have made a commitment to asking rather than telling. I am finding that if I ask a kid what they know or, in some cases, what I am going to say they can land pretty close to the target. What I mean is, like a kid who breaks a rule and is charged with conjuring their own punishment, kids are really good at reciting the scripts of the adults around them. In many cases, kids can be more firm, more concise and more articulate than most of us might predict.
With this in mind, we can ask our students, “What’s one thing that you know would positively impact your performance this semester?” The fact is, they know what they should be doing to get the grades that reflect their ability. Whether or not they are willing to commit to the identified activity or strategy might be another story. Whether it is a time management, organization, study skills or motivation block, we can be the missing link in bridging student access to that which they know they should do.
Just2 Tutoring coaches are collaborators
During our initial consultations with students and their families, we accentuate past successes regardless of the level. We remind students that they must be doing something right or else they might not have made it to this point. J2 coaches are collaborators rather than invaders. We have the opportunity to build upon foundations of what has worked well for our students rather than scrap their past practices entirely and mandate a foreign system of organization or study.
We listen to our students and support them in removing excuses that have previously resulted in grades and feedback incongruent with their abilities. This is the heart of Just2 Tutoring! This is what individualized support looks like and I am proud of the work that you all do to transform mediocre performance into exemplary leaders.
Thanks for your work so far and thank for all of the good work you about to do this semester!