Achievement about is more than earning an A on a test or gaining admission to a top school; it's about building an infrastructure of drive, effort, determination, and growth that paves the way for lifelong learning and continuously redefining possibilities. In working with countless clients, we have discovered the following keys to achievement.
1) Harnessing Family & Faculty Support
Tutoring companies need to leverage love and support of families and the guidance of faculty to begin building a "sphere of achievement" that extends beyond the classroom. With this support—and sessions that reinforce curricular goals—students can make quick, substantive progress.
Is your goal increasing your son's algebra average by 40%? Is it raising your daughter's SAT score by 150 points? Is it finally passing a class that you need for graduation? Whatever your goal, it's important for educators and students to work together from the beginning of the program to establish objectives that guide sessions and ultimately motivate performance. Particularly for younger children, offering tangible rewards for small and large achievements is among the best ways to inspire students to achieve at their personal best. For example, one of our students who excelled on her state tests was taken to a Nicki Minaj concert during the summer as a reward.
3) Students as the Drivers of Their Achievement
Students need to realize that they can't depend on teachers, tutors, or families for high performance; they can only depend on themselves. As students are the true drivers of their achievement, they must be active in setting goals, monitoring progress, and taking the steps needed—extra practice, increased study time, and participation in enrichment activities—that will nurture success. Not only does this motivate students to succeed; it also empowers them with the confidence they need to achieve even larger goals in the future.
4) Guiding Students to Leverage Challenges
We've all experienced setbacks; those devastating disappointments that make us question our direction and even worse—question our ability. Students (children and adults alike) have to be guided to realize that challenge, and at times struggle, is an important part of the learning process, and offers opportunities to attain excellence. Can we ask for a better learning opportunity? Essentially, students must learn to relish challenges, not fear them.
5) Providing Personalized Instruction & Content
Sessions, first and foremost, must be rooted in curricular goals; but many students underachieve because traditional learning environments disregard their needs and "voices." Content should integrate students' interests, value their perspectives, and offer "personal touches" that engage and facilitate the instructional process.
6) Fostering a Drive toward Excellence
One can't achieve a goal that hasn't been imagined; therefore, tutors, teachers, and family must instill an appreciation for success and perseverance on the sometimes-trying road that is required to achieve it. Students, especially chronic underachievers, need to believe that success is not only for others; it is also meant for them. As the adage says, "if you can dream it, you can live it."
What Are Your Keys to Achievement?
What have you found to be keys to achievement? Share them with us and we'll be glad to include them. Let's work together to help students define their genius.