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Yesterday at the end of a lack luster practice – I asked the girls… “So tell me, how did training go today?” Most of the girls just put their head down.  While a few muttered under their breath, “okay”. So I asked another question. “How many of you had a bad day today?”  9 of 13 hands went up.  “Okay… fair enough.  We all have bad days.  Now if you go home and while you are brushing your teeth you stare at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I’ve got to be positive.  Today was a good day!  I practiced my best.’  How does that feel?” Immediately three players shouted out, “Like I am lying to myself.  It feels terrible.”  “I agree…so how do we fix that?  Because if you go to bed feeling terrible.  You are most likely going to wake up feeling terrible. Which means the cycle will repeat.  And you are more than likely going to have ANOTHER bad day tomorrow and ANOTHER ‘okay’ practice... read more

(This is actually a modified version of an article I posted a while back - Parents wait! Why a study skills tutor is what your child REALLY needs. But I think tutors should consider this idea of study skills even more than parents should.) After a dozen years as a classroom teacher and private tutor, I know the routine well. Like clockwork, October and March bring new report cards and parents start to get nervous. “An F in chemistry? I’m afraid I can’t help you there; let’s find you a good chemistry tutor.” This is the kind of dialog I imagine taking place in many households around this time. And chemistry is just an example – insert subject here and the reaction is the same. But that low letter grade on a report card can indicate many things – maybe the teacher is bonkers; maybe one major assignment was weighted too heavily; maybe the student can’t see the board and is afraid to say anything; maybe that particular class is a source of social anxiety; etc...... read more

After a dozen years as a classroom teacher and private tutor, I know the routine well. Like clockwork, October and March bring new report cards and parents start to get nervous. “An F in chemistry? I’m afraid I can’t help you there; let’s find you a good chemistry tutor.” This is the kind of dialog I imagine taking place in many households around this time. And chemistry is just an example – “insert subject here” and the reaction is the same. But that low letter grade on a report card can indicate many things – maybe the teacher is bonkers; maybe one major assignment was weighted too heavily; maybe the student can’t see the board and is afraid to say anything; maybe that particular class is a source of social anxiety; etc. And let’s be honest – in most high school classrooms, students are essentially graded on their ability to keep track of, complete, and submit paperwork (i.e. homework), instead of their mastery of the material. (Not a good state of affairs, but it’s a topic... read more

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