One of the questions I ask potential tutors during our interview process is “What are some reasons that well-intentioned, hard-working students don’t see the kinds of success they think they should?”
It’s an important question because although many students who look for tutoring come in knowing exactly what they need help with, some students come in and don’t really know WHY they are struggling. They feel frustrated because they are putting time and effort into their work. It’s not uncommon to hear that students are staying up until 11pm every weeknight studying/doing homework!
While every student has unique challenges and every class and teacher is different, there are some common threads among the majority of students in this situation. Thankfully, there are some behaviors that the student can change to see improvement.
Below is the first, of three, reasons why a hard-working student isn’t succeeding.
Reason #1 why a hard-working student isn’t succeeding:
They don’t write things down.
I always tell my students, instructors, and administrators that “Writing is doing” (and to be fair to them, it’s a lesson that life keeps teaching me as well!)
Where does not writing things down cause problems?
- A student doesn’t write their test date in their planner, and forgets about it until two days before the test (meaning they need to cram).
- A student doesn’t write down a step in an algebra problem, leading to a frustrating careless error and re-working a problem from the beginning. Without the work shown, it’s also more difficult for the student to find the source of error.
- A student doesn’t take notes on the reading, which means it’s more likely his mind wanders as he reads, leading to needing to re-read, with less retention (and more frustration).
- A student doesn’t write out a plan for what each step of a project needs to be, and when each step should be done. He/she instead thinks “I know what I need to do”. This leads to procrastination, and, in the end, a lower quality project.
The common thread here is that writing is the evidence that a student fully thought through the idea (and can even be the trigger to fully think it through!)
- 3 Reasons Why A Hard-Working Student Isn’t Succeeding (Part 2)
- 3 Reasons Why A Hard-Working Student Isn’t Succeeding (Part 3)
Is your son or daughter struggling without knowing what they are doing wrong? Give us a call, and we’ll help find the solution for their academic difficulties.