I’m not good at this! I don’t like it! Why do I have to do this?
Were these questions my students were asking the other day? No, these were things I was saying at the gym yesterday. I hate to exercise. I’m definitely not good at it. I’m definitely not very highly motivated. Yet, I go there 4 times a week, because I know it is good for me, and I don’t like how I feel when I don’t go.
Now, occasionally, a student will ask me these same questions and I admit, until I actually heard myself complain at the gym yesterday, I was sympathetic, but I didn’t get it.
I love math. I love science. I find it interesting and I do well in it. Why wouldn’t I want to learn more? Why wouldn’t I practice more? For every question I felt positive about in math/science, I could hear my negative response if I was thinking about that answer in terms of the gym.
So, OK, I get it, math-science, not your thing. But I guarantee you that working consistently on something, even if you do not like it, does yield positive results. I am stronger. I can now do 25 repetitions of a crazy abdominal exercise that only 4 months ago I could barely do 5. Do I care that much – not really – but yes, kind of. It felt good to reach a goal, even if it was one that really didn’t matter much to me at first.
Commit to a specific tutoring schedule. Working consistently will guarantee improvement. Improvement feels good – truly – even if your muscles or your brain try to convince you otherwise!