By “time management” we usually mean prioritizing, using time effectively, getting things done instead of putting them off. Except that we all “manage” time — it’s a matter of how well. If done properly, the rewards are large — and costly if not.
Ben Franklin put it more succinctly:
Remember that time is money.
So let’s get a new, good start on this “time management” job of ours and break into its essential parts to see how well it can pay. Continue reading →
Do we all have an inner John Wayne, or is grit unique to the gritty few?
Is grit a product of circumstance that reveals it or do we need to bring grit to the scene? I’m thinking it’s a little of both, but it’s certain that some of us are “grittier” than others, and each of us in different ways.
Academics are newly concerned with “grit,” or “resilience,” as long term success requires the ability to get past challenges and set backs. In fact, students who overcome failure and keep steady towards a long term goal are understood to be better prepared for higher level academics and life in general than students who never faced failure at all. Continue reading →
So how can we bridge the gap between students who only do as they’re told and those who learn only what they find interesting?
As students rise through secondary schools, teacher expectations and demands can either tax or reward student learning and behavioral types, in this case, the extrinsically versus intrinsically motivated student:
Extrinsic learners strive to meet teacher expectations as explicitly as possible while intrinsic learners engage learning for its own sake.Continue reading →
Is math just for math people? Are you just not wired for math? Well, you and your math-struggling student can celebrate Pi day, too!
I was awful at math in high school. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t qualify to take math in college.
Felt great at the time, but looking back on it, what a shame. The only math I could do as a kid was “breaking a twenty” as a cashier at my job at the drug store. I could make change like a champ! Now, cashiers don’t even have to know any math at all, since the machine does it all for them.
On March 1, 2017 at the Arlington, VA Central Library, Michael Bromley presented:
Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination
Michael Bromley discusses strategies to help ourselves and our children overcome the urge to delay. Michael is a high school teacher, historian, published author and founder and president of School4Schools.com LLC & the A+ Club
We hear it all the time. Students say, “I get it when my teacher shows it to me, but I can’t do it on the test.” Then parents tell us that their child “doesn’t test well.”
When children say, “I get it when my teacher shows me,” what they’re really saying is that they didn’t learn it for themselves.
Turning New Knowledge into Prior Knowledge
The process of turning “New Knowledge” (NK) into “Prior Knowledge” (PK) is what I call “internalization.” When our brain receives new information, it looks to store it somewhere meaningful. If there is no related PK to connect it to, then the NK remains just that, unrelated, unconnected information that has no lasting memory.
However, when the NK finds a comfortable home, it is connected to meaningful PK and can now begin the process of internalization, that is going from NK to PK.
Parents of a student who has been diagnosed with “Attention Deficit,” commonly known as “ADD” and “ADHD,” get a reminder every hour of every day that by, “attention deficit,” ADD is more than some inability to focus.
characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling behavior which is not appropriate for a person’s age.
The key words here are, “paying attention,” something that I am reminded of as I jumped up from my living room chair at the smell of my burning breakfast. My wife would remind me that I always burn the roast. I remind her that she should remind me when I put something on the stove.
A wise, wonderful person, my Belgian host-mother during my student exchange year to Tournai, Belgium, told me (in French), “Michael, you try to do too much at once.”
My own mother wouldn’t disagree, especially during those numerous emergency visits for another round of stitches needed because I wasn’t “paying attention” again. Continue reading →
Parents and teachers think that if only students would connect their short term decisions to long term goals, such as college and jobs, they would quit procrastinating and do their homework.
That’s why we’re always telling them about how important their future is.
Experience tells us that it’s not a reasonable connection. Kids won’t suddenly start doing their homework because they decided one day to be an astronaut or a sports agent. They do their homework because they think the homework is important unto itself. Or not.
Every Child Wants Success
Students of all levels have high-standards and long term goals for themselves. But just wanting to go to a good college doesn’t get the homework done.
All students are aspirational: they want to do well in school and for their parents. But when they fall off from expectations, the excuses and resistance begin.
Managing a teen student is complicated enough! Now you have to deal with enforcing rules, upping the oversight, and staying on top of a resistant child. Communication breaks off, and things get, well, unhappy.
At the A+ Club, we help students do better in school by engaging them in reflection, problem solving and goal setting — and following up week to week, along with assignments and grades oversight and direct tutoring when needed.
Our system helps students identify what is possible and feel empowered to get there. When kids don’t know what to do or can’t see past the next step, it’s usually because their expectations aren’t aligned with their realities.
Do not “require a fig in winter”
When we adults say, “I want to lose weight” it’s as vague and meaningless — and counter-productive — as when a student starts a new quarter after low grades with, “I’m going to get straight A’s.”
Two recent Skype incidents remind us of the dangers of social media and the “instant age.”
One, an offensive albeit private joke ignorantly shared online, the other a deliberate spamming via Skype messaging remind us that parents can and should be aware of their teen student’s social media activities. Here are some warnings and suggestions, starting with the idea that with social media, private is never really private.