Tag: Grades

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Learn HOW to Learn: The Legacy of Mr. Coombs

At this time of the school year–after first semester grades and well-into the next semester–I receive increased requests for tutor referrals.  Parents and students naturally assume that a less than expected grade in a class is due to content deficit–that somehow the student just “isn’t getting it”; “it” being the ideas and concepts presented in …

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Senioritis: It’s Not Contagious, Yet Can Strike Whole Senior Classes

About this time of year, a curious affliction can take hold of the current high school Senior class; its often known as, “Senioritis”.   With no known cure, yet for most, a temporary condition, Senioritis can strike at any time, for no apparent reason, and without warning.  The symptoms can include: Related PostsThe Growing Pains …

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“Open Your Eyes!”

“Open your eyes!” This is a command I’ve heard jokingly, and literally, for a long time, since I am a typical Asian with eyes that crinkle and appear closed when I laugh or smile, even while they’re open.  Recently, a student reminded me the importance of opening my eyes, in a figurative sense, about how …

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The Many Meanings of “I Don’t Know”

“I don’t know” is a common answer to a variety of questions, when I talk with teenagers and their families about college and education.  What I’ve come to learn is that “I don’t know” has a different meaning, depending on the question. Related PostsGuest Post: Advice for Dads from their Daughters this Father’s Day Paying …

Archive, Podcasts

Teaching Style Can Create Stress Among Some Students in a Classroom of Thirty Five Students

Today’s podcast is an edited conversation with a client (high school junior) who was attempting to identify pressure surrounding the day-to-day academic grind. Within the broader conversation, the student suggested that the teaching style of their AP English teacher was creating undo stress and anxiety on the part of the student and their family. Related …

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Online Grading Systems: Friend or Frenemy?

The typical public high school teacher is responsible for 160 students and teaches at least two different classes–e.g. AP English 11 and Honors English 9–with multiple sections of each course, for example: 3 periods of AP English 11.    So, what does this have to do with an online grading system?   If one assignment …

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Grades Don’t Only Measure Learning

Grades are a complex mix of a student’s performance meeting the teacher’s grading standards, managing assignments so they’re completed & returned to the teacher on time, AS WELL AS actually learning the concepts in class.  Too often, the last part–the learning & understanding–is the only part that consumes students’, teachers’ and parents’ efforts, when a …

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Teachers Are People, Too

Students can be surprised to see teachers out in the community doing everyday, ordinary tasks–grocery shopping, flying on airplanes, having coffee at the local Peet’s. I know I felt like this as a kid, even when I became a teacher working on staff with former teachers, I had a hard time using their first names …

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Just Because You Can, Does That Mean You Should?

Are we “solving” issues too quickly with medication, or just “kicking the can down the road” only now with more complications for a generation of today’s youth?  According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports 14% of Americans 12 years and older have been on medications …

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Evolution of Learning

We expect teachers and schools to be objective.  Yet, we demand subjectivity when a kid struggles to understand concepts.  We assume knowledge is knowledge–some static, unchanging entity.    So, if a kid doesn’t understand or even simply takes longer than the class is allotted to learn the concept, there’s something inherently wrong with the kid or …