Archive for the ‘Ways to Succeed’ Category

Physical Appearance

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Presentation counts. The content for your projects is important, but the whole package and attention to details matters. Why? Because in real life, people won’t pay any attention to your content if it’s sloppy, if it’s not presented in an attention-getting, appealing, and logical manner.

So even if teachers say they don’t care about your art skills… honestly they do.

Extra Curriculars

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Athletes do better in school on average than non-athletes. You don’t have to be on a team, but you should be active. It’s good for your body including your brain function. It’s good for your self-image and self-confidence. If you are on a team of some kind, it makes you become a better time manager. (note: many of the same arguments can be applied to serious musicians or other types of performance)

Also, kids who do extra stuff outside of academics such as speech and debate, journalism, student body, etc, do much better than the typical student.

Vocabulary and Grammar

Monday, June 14th, 2010

A good command of English vocabulary and grammar will serve you well no matter what subject area.

It is statistically proven that kids who read a lot when they were younger do a lot better in school. Regardless of what book or magazine, every bit of literacy will increase intelligence.

Sit in the Front

Monday, June 14th, 2010

If given a choice, sit in the front or near the front of the classroom. And look alert. Raise your hand often. If you don’t really have a comment, then ask a question, or keep in mind that you can also make a comment seem like a question. Stay after class or go after school to ask the teacher a question or clarify some point. Teachers love kids who they think are really interested or really trying, and will usually give them the higher grade if something is on the borderline.

Do not kiss up too much. Teachers can tell.

Teacher’s Errors

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Don’t directly or indirectly point out the teacher’s errors in class, unless you already have evidence the teacher is okay with that. If it is something that is truly important, you can try to clarify with the teacher after class or after school.

There was a kid in one of my classes a few years back that constantly corrected the teacher. He was obviously a genius but also a social failure. He still got a great grade, but nobody, including the teacher liked him.

Online Grading

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Do check the online gradebook, if your school uses one, regularly. Not only do teachers sometimes make honest mistakes (which you can then point out to them) in entering grades, but also it will help you keep aware of what class or assignment you most need to pay attention to.

Don’t be a Grade Grubber

Monday, June 14th, 2010

While teachers do like the kids who check over their homework and tests afterwards, and ask questions, they don’t like the kids who seem to be focused primarily securing every single tenth of a point (even if they might be entitled). So even if you’re pretty sure you’re right, if right and wrong are not clear-cut or it is not a significant number of points involved, let it go.

Although you might need those points, it’s more important to make sure the teacher does not hate you.

Be Organized

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Use the calendar function that goes with your email or any other calendar to track assignments, extracurricular activities, other jobs and tasks, and send yourself reminders of everything things you intend to do. It is worth the time to input things.

I know that every single student has forgotten an assignment at least once in his/her life. If you continually keep track of everything, it’ll reduce the chances of losing a few points.

Who cares about a few points? Well every student hits a point where he/she could have gotten that grade a whole letter higher if not for a few points. I remember when I got a B+ by 2 points. If I hadn’t forgotten some homework, I would have gotten an A.

Snooping the Teacher

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Find out whatever you can from students who have previously had that teacher or class what the teacher likes or doesn’t like, or what to expect at different points in the class.

To be honest, school is not a depiction of who is the smartest. It is an example of who can “play school” the best. Part of this is understanding the teacher and how to play to the teachers’ wishes.

Repeat and Review

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The brain forgets most information it encounters the first time around. Repetition and review, in reasonable quantities at reasonably frequent intervals, is important for long-term memory.

Do not just memorize once for a test. If you do, then it’ll only hurt you in the long run.