Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to Resolve Teacher-Student Disputes

It’s that time of the year again when the teacher-parent conference rounds may have some of you on edge. If your student isn’t getting on with their educator, you may be tempted to discuss your concerns with the teacher, but being confrontational during your meeting may actually make the situation worse. Author of “I Hate School: How To Help Your Child Love Learning,” Cynthia Ulrich Tobias, interviewed 100 educators to get their take on the best way to resolve tensions. We share some of her insights here.
First of all, every child will eventually get a teacher they dislike in their academic careers. This may be as serious as a personality clash that results in mutual dislike or as simple as a classroom embarrassment that the teacher isn’t even aware of.
When trouble is brewing in the classroom, try to get your student to resolve their disputes themselves. Learning to deal with people you don’t like, especially those in authority positions, is an important life lesson to learn.
When you child says the teacher picks on her, ask for specific examples and then discuss ways in which she can handle the situation appropriately. Role play scenarios so that your child will know how to react. Role playing not only teaches your child how to respond to difficult situations, but also gives her the confidence she needs to speak up.
If the situation remains unresolved and you feel it is negatively affecting your child, then it may be time to step in. The first thing Tobias recommends is not ambushing the teacher with your concerns. Start by building a relationship with them that is based on respect. “They’ll treat your child as well as you treat them,” says Tobias.
When you get to know each other well enough, it will be easier to work together to create a happier classroom environment. Ambushing them with accusations will only make them defensive and may make the situation worse.
Always give them the benefit of the doubt; remember that they are professionals who are able to put any personal feelings aside to deal with students appropriately and fairly. Don’t play the blame game, instead explain the situation and ask: “How can I help?” This will make the teacher feel like you want to be part of the solution and that you are willing to be an involved parent. It will also make them less defensive. Teachers have a lot of experience dealing with students who they don’t gel with, so they may actually have some really great ideas on how to restore harmony.
If at all possible, resist the urge to go over the teacher’s head. Try your best to resolve situations with the teacher as speaking to the principal may only strengthen the teacher’s dislike of your child.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

7 ACT Test Strategies that Work

The ACT is a daunting test and the outcome has serious consequences for every student. While there is no substitute for working hard, you can optimize your chances of succeeding in the ACT test by learning strategies for answering questions effectively. Learning to navigate the landscape of an ACT will ensure that you get the best possible results.
Practice makes perfect
Practice tests are available for FREE from Tutor Doctor Longmont   for you to try. Practice subject tests prior to writing your ACT test in order to familiarize yourself with the way questions are asked. You should also study the instructions for each subject test prior to writing. Since time is such an important factor in your ACT test, knowing the instructions beforehand means you won’t waste time reading them more than once during the exam.
Prioritize your questions
Read through the questions before you start writing. Order them from easiest to hardest and start with the easy ones. Getting the easy points done is a great way to ensure the best score. Doing the easy questions first will also help to build your confidence and get you in the right headspace to take on the more difficult questions.
Shake it off and move on
If you get to a question you just can’t find an answer to, move on. Don’t waste any time getting bogged down on difficult questions. You can come back to it if you need to at a later stage. As you are working through questions, make notes in the margins. You don’t need to hand in a pristine paper, use every inch of paper to make notes and jot down thoughts. That way, when you come back to the difficult questions, you can see what you were working on before.
Don’t know the answer? Guess!
Never leave an answer blank. The ACT test doesn’t penalize you for incorrect answers, so taking a guess may just render the right answer.
Bubbling with care
Take great care when bubbling. It’s easy to accidentally colour in the wrong bubble even when you have the right answer. While you may be working through the answer quickly, double check that you have filled in the right bubble. It’s best to get a couple of answers ready and then fill the bubbles in at the same time to make it faster. Ensure absolute accuracy by saying the question number and the answer in your head as you fill out the bubble grid: “24, F and 25, C.”
Take it easy
This may sound like the worst idea ever when time is such a crucial factor in a successful ACT test, but taking the time to read questions carefully will prevent misinterpretation. Some answers will try to trick you and if you rush through, you will fall victim to these partially right answers.
Stay positive
Adopting a defeatist attitude will result in a poor test score. Tell yourself you can do it, take a deep breath and start with the easy questions so that you can build on your confidence before tackling the more difficult ones.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is your child shy? How to Encourage Class Participation in Shy Students

Shy students are often a teacher’s dream as they work hard to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
While this may be easier to deal with, no teacher wants your student to miss out on educational opportunities. Participating in class, asking questions and being part of school activities will help your student to have a richer educational and social experience. Students who apply what they have learned in class exercises are more likely to reach a deeper understanding of the material and retain more of the information they have garnered.
Talk to your Teacher
If your student is shy, speak with your teacher about this and discuss ways in which to encourage participation. Teachers can ensure that shy students are seated at the front of the class so that they are more visible. Shy students may need a little longer to feel confident enough to answer questions or participate and teachers who understand this can be more accommodating.
Teachers can work to build a rapport with your student and can work one-on-one with them wherever possible. They can also encourage your student to participate and join in class activities.
The effects of student peer pressure are great and most students are shy because they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of their peers. Fear of failure may stem from the fact that they don’t know the answers to questions, feel overwhelmed by course materials or simply just don’t understand. You can overcome these academic issues by getting an in-home tutor.
An in-home tutor can work with your student one-on-one in an encouraging and safe environment. As your student fills in the gaps in their knowledge, their confidence will grow. When they understand what is happening in class, they will feel confident enough to ask questions and participate in activities.
Social Skills
Encouraging your student to participate in activities outside of the classroom will help them to gain the confidence to get involved inside the classroom. Sports, extra mural activities and social events are great places for them to mix with other students and form friendships. Social bonds are important in improving confidence.
When students feel prepared, their confidence improves. Get your students to prepare some questions or read up on possible topics prior to class.
You can also role play with students so that they are more able to deal with possible situations that arise.
Be very encouraging and help to bolster their self-confidence by focusing on the positive rather than dwelling in the negative aspects of their social interaction and academic performance. You can improve their confidence by rewarding small successes and focusing on their achievements.