Heading back to school always feels like a fresh start. And like a new set of clothes, getting a new device just makes you feel good.
But for high school and college students, freshmen especially, the choice of technology can really impact academic performance. The wrong choice can make school difficult or, worse, become an excuse not to do well.
Into the start of the 2016-17 school year, I thought it’s time for an update from previous posts here on the topic. The technologies haven’t changed much, but there are more options — and most importantly, more affordable ones.
Parents concerned about their teen’s middle and high school exam and test prep might consider that studying isn’t just a matter of reviewing notes and study guides. Successful testing requires ongoing learning.
Here are some strategies for parents to empower their student’s exam prep and overall academic success.
Parents! If schools were meant for learning, why do we have grades?
In other words, if learning were the goal, wouldn’t every student have to get an A+ before moving on to the next level?
If, when a student gets a D, and it indicates the student met 64% of expectations, is there learning going on at that school? Wouldn’t a 100% grade represent true learning?
As long as there are grades less than an A, the point of schools, then, is not learning.
Worse, not all grades are equal. Does an A in PE represent learning as much as an A in math? They both count the same towards your GPA and both are required. Clearly, learning is not the only thing being measured here. Continue reading →
In this interview, Gabriella discusses her Academic Coaching work with high school student athletes during the 2013/14 school year. Focusing on athletes, Gabriella helped them track work, build executive function and interpersonal skills. She served as their counselor, mentor, advocate and friend. Continue reading →
Clarity and purpose, hard to find and easy to dismiss, now assemble at the last minute. Focus arrives, hard work ensues, and the job gets done.
That urgency at the last minute invigorates and inspires procrastinators. It’s almost exhilarating — and it is, because you’re getting the same brain-chemical reactions from “procrastinator’s panic” as you do from getting startled. Scientists call it ” CRF,” and it is a brain drug that is released at the panic of a deadline.
So what’s the problem? Well… every procrastinator knows it: you should have gotten that feeling of urgency a little sooner. Sometimes “last minute” means by the deadline. All too often, it’s after the deadline passed and turned into a “drop dead deadline.” But you got it done, so what’s the problem? Continue reading →
Now that he’s about to graduate from college, JP discusses his experiences in K-12 and college and how it all fits together to make him the student and person he is. J.P. cuts through the B.S. with excellent critiques of his K-8 and 9th-12 Catholic education, and what worked, what didn’t and, most importantly, what makes a great teacher. In J.P.’s case, those teachers are Brother Martin and Prof. Carlander, teachers who inspired, pushed, and turned JP into a real student with real learning.
An important challenge J.P. brings to education is his K-8 experience, which he found entirely lacking once he came upon Brother Martin’s 9th grade Honors English class. Are we underserving our K-8 children? And what of those kids who didn’t get into Brother Martin’s class?
J.P. Cassignol is a senior at Salisbury University, Eastern Shore, MD, with a concentration in History. J.P. Graduated from St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., and prior to that was enrolled in a Catholic school K-8 program. J.P. loves history and literature, and he works as a tutor in those and other subjects.
St. Johns College High School: what’s the “college” thing about?
JP was not prepared for 9th grade
his K-8 did not prepare him
never had written anything more than a few paragraphs
9th grade: what do kids bring to it?
why are elementary schools all so different?
why should 9th grade be so much harder?
Elementary: seeking universal standards
JPs 9th grade was challenging
Big gap between elementary and high school
are we pushing kids hard enough in K-8?
“Excellence Gap” study by Dr. Jonathan Plucker
J.P.’s school competitive?
Catholic school admissions: an incestual orgy? (lol)
Public school kids more prepared?
depends on the demographic
are outcomes defined by zip codes?
Rte 50 / Univ Blvd: the dividing lines
do charter schools drain talent?
lowest common denominator v. the cream of the crop
Was his high school worth the money? maybe not
Would rather have gone to college twice
But he did go there, it is who he is
What if he had gone to public school?
would have lost all the expereinces of a catholic school
Brother Martin: English teacher
read a book a week
not reading in class… taking turns lol
depth of analysis that he had never encountered
English class was no longer about structure, was about literature
then next year, teacher was back to reading out loud in class
so teachers matter?
should any teacher be able to teach anything?
JPs definition of a good teacher? Hope Brother Martin is listenng to this
the difference between a teacher who knows everything but can’t teach and a teacher who may not know everything but can teach and lead you to where you need to go
why do some kids like certain teachers and others not?
kids look for easy teachers = business major etiquette
but they won’t remember those teachers
a good assignment is powerful
has assignments from high school that he still thinks about
Bromley’s best teacher: Prof Wright who threatened to fail him Senior year of college: 1st teacher who ever “kicked my ass”
Dr. Carlander at Salisbury: they’d get into for 3 hours .. he’d rip up his paper … they’d argue with each other.. inspiring!
always read the prof’s book!
knows his stuff: and “a real teacher”
Prof got JP to write a grant application: got it & went to a national conference >> all because of a real teacher
What make a good teacher:
learning is supposed to be rigorous
“no pressure no diamond”
teachers who earned respect, who mentor, who respect kids
unlike teachers who just put notes on the board
good teachers: challenge, drag, empower
learning is a fight! “I’m a 13 year old kid, what do I give a shit about Julius Caesar?”
You could see it in Brother Martin’s brow lines … but patient and caring … loved his students
The A+ Club from School4Schools.com LLC, based in Arlington, VA, is dedicated to helping students across the U.S.A. meet their goals and find the academic success the want and deserve. Contact us here or call now to (703) 271-5334 to see how we can help.