Academic Success: A Combination of Action and Attitude
We believe organization, time management, study strategies, and goal setting - skills implied in the classroom but not explicitly taught - are the foundation of a successful academic career. As we educate these student's on how to utilize these key skills, they begin to cultivate personal responsibility, self-awareness, and academic self-esteem. Academic success is the rewarding product of action and attitude.
De-emphasizing Grades as the Sole Measure of Academic Success
We believe that grades are a symptom of consistent habits and not a measure of personal worth.
Many of our students struggle due to disorganization, learning disabilities, mental health and personal challenges. As a result, their grades rarely reflect their grasp of a subject or their academic potential. Worse, students often personalize their grades and exhibit low academic self-esteem.
We want to rewrite this narrative to show our students that low grades are not indicators of their personal or academic worth. Additionally, we want to empower them with skills and habits so that they recognize that it is entirely within their agency to change their academic performance.
Developing a Vocabulary of Self
Most students don't have a mature enough vocabulary to articulate their feelings and experiences surrounding school and their social life. We've all heard the poor excuses, "I didn't get a good grade because I'm stupid." Or, "I failed because my teacher hates me." They tend to speak in simple binaries such as smart vs stupid and passing vs failing. We'd like to equip our students with a vocabulary that allows for more nuance. So the poor excuses become, "I didn't get a good grade because I didn't hand in my homework on time." Or, "I failed because I didn't study consistently." Consequently, we hope to impart the value of the following:
Academic Integrity: Our goal is to have our students measure their academic success by their ability to consistently turn in all of their work in on time with work that they are proud of and to show up to every test feeling prepared.
Consistency: It is incredibly difficult to do the same task week in and week out so that it becomes a habit. In order for our students to break their bad hapbits and learn value of time management, organization, and study skills for themselves we must ourselves consistently reinforce the value of consistency.
Accountability: It is our goal to help our students cultivate academic self-esteem by teaching them that they are accountable to the decisions they make, their actions and words. Developmentally, as teens mature they will slowly become more self-aware. One way to help them along this path is to teach them accountability.
Prioritization: This skill is difficult to cultivate as it requires the maturity to demonstrate foresight, the awareness of one’s goals, and the ability and willingness to compromise. Yet, this is a skill with enduring importance. If a student can master the art of prioritizing, they will be able to achieve their academic goals.