Good news?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Can we all remember what it was like waiting for results? Was it as bad as thinking about the impending exams,or worse,  I wonder? My husband claims that he still has nightmares about exams and I wouldn’t like to say how many years it is since he was in school! Sometimes, as adults, we forget how stressful exam results are because we have had so many other stresses in our lives since the event. For those teenagers who have got the results they wanted, all is well and they can look forward to the next big thing but for others it is probably all a bit confusing. My particular concern at this time of year is firstly those who have taken A levels but then those who have not performed so well at AS.

In the great build up to A level results,the AS candidates, it seems, don’t really get a mention and yet some of them are in shock. Either the results don’t reflect the effort they thought they put in OR the results reflect their lack of effort and now they have to face the music. Whichever it is, it’s hard to deal with. Let’s take the lot of effort/ low grade scenario. Sometimes teenagers are working hard but not effectively. If working hard constitutes going to the bedroom and looking at books it might feel like hard work but perhaps little information is being absorbed.

Then there is the perfectionist, often a girl, who spends hours on her work, trying to make it neat and always striving to do her best. She may work late into the night, arise feeling groggy, barely function in the morning and then struggle to catch up ( perfectly) in the evening. Yes,  she is working hard but it is not really effective. The opposite is to go to room open books but spend most of the time texting or interacting with friends on line. “But you know I spent hours in my room working”, they say,  “and look where it got me”.

Another potential problem is that many teenagers don’t know how to revise effectively. Reading through notes is not the best way to absorb information. Generally speaking the student needs to interact with material, to put it into their own words and take ownership of it.

Many of the students I see just find the whole learning business overwhelming. There is so much to do and they don’t know where to start – so they don’t. Much easier to push it all behind you and pretend it isn’t happening. Eventually, of course it all catches up with them and panic sets in. However, over-analysing what went wrong is probably not going to help. Blame and recrimination will not make the situation better so, draw a line in the sand and decide what steps need to be taken in order to move forward.

No matter how truculent you teenager may appear, inwardly they will be quite fragile. Go easy on them and help them plan what they are going to do next. Grounding them, making them pay for resits or setting up some draconian work schedule will be counter productive and as a sensitive parent you would not suggest these options. One of the first questions I would ask is “Are they studying appropriate subjects?” Sometimes poor marks are caused by disinterest in the subjects being studied or an inability to do them.  Look at what they are studying and think about why your son or daughter chose these options.

If they like the subjects maybe they just don’t know how to study effectively. This is relatively easily solved. After an upset in grades it is not uncommon for a student to lose motivation and their confidence will certainly have taken a knock. This can seriously effect work as they go into Yr 13 and so their fragile self esteem needs rebuilding and they also need to look at moving forward a step at a time in the motivation stakes. perhaps your teenager is disorganised. it is such a pity that the frontal lobes ( wherein dwells organisation)are the last parts to be reached in the teenage brain upgrade. Sometimes they really CAN’T help themselves! As for concentration, this is another attribute which can be sadly lacking from the teenage toolbox.

It doesn’t matter which of these afflictions is affecting the performance of your offspring, with a little cooperation and some application, they can all be fixed. To help get those who have disappointing grades back on track, I am running a workshop on Sept 20th at Bridges Community Centre in Monmouth from 9:30 -12:30. Here’s what it will include:

A learning analysis– this will be completed online before the workshop and gives a detailed report (12 pages)

Filer or Piler –  how personality affects learning, strenghts and weaknesses and how they relate to performance

Motivation and self confidence – what steps will you take to move forward and feel good about yourself

Concentration – learn the secrets of how to focus

Procrastination – dealing with it

When and where to work –  how to utilise time effectively, when are you at your best

Practical stuff:

Memory – how much can you remember, how are memories made and how do you retrieve them

Notes – what is their purpose and how to make them

Mind Maps – cutting the work load down to size

During the morning participants will be draw up your their own action plan, cherry picking the techniques which will work for them  and their learning personality . They will be deciding what their priorities are and how they are going to achieve their goals. This will be their road map to help them achieve their personal best. However, after the workshop is over they are not on their own; I am also offering 1 months email support so that if participants try something and it doesn’t work I can suggest alternatives. Perhaps, more importantly, I will be expecting a report on how their goals are being achieved!

Take the steps you need today. There are 10 places on the workshop and 2 have already been taken.Cost £65, Early bird booking £55.

Contact me today on 07756874471 or 01600750519 to reserve your place and to receive your application form.