What is academic coaching? (This is just a different word for tutoring, right?)
Well, no. Academic coaching is not subject-specific, and it's a whole lot more than just homework help. As an academic coach, I take a holistic view of the student in the context of his or her greater life.
Academic coaching helps students to be much more successful academically, but you don't have to be getting low grades to want or need a coach. Are you (or your student) perpetually stressed out? Do you wish you could feel more confident in school and life? Is it difficult to find–and maintain–the balance among academics, extracurriculars, family life, and other commitments? Academic coaching will help you to work out strategies and priorities, to find your equilibrium, and to recognize your own innate competence as a learner. You can read more here.
So, what do you do?
Academic coaching is a dynamic, personalized approach to learning. There is no pre-set paradigm. I begin by getting to know you and helping you to articulate your goals. My approach is based on helping you to meet those goals by removing any personal and/or academic roadblocks, teaching new strategies, and nurturing your sense of competence and self-reliance. Learning skills and life-management skills go hand in hand. Academic coaching will address any/all of the following topics, depending on need:
- getting organized (backpack and materials, work environment)
- prioritizing assignments and managing workload
- sorting out competing commitments and managing priorities
- managing electronics/smartphones
- managing time
- building confidence, in the classroom and out
- developing self-discipline
- improving executive skills
- increasing motivation and uncovering your inner drive
- addressing learning styles and needs
- improving study habits, including approaches to note-taking
- writing assistance
- reading assistance
- test preparation and test-taking strategy
- stress management
When should a student meet with an academic coach?
At the beginning of a semester/trimester/marking period to review the courseload and devise a plan of attack
In between semesters/trimesters/marking periods/academic years to evaluate past experience, identify strong and weak points, develop strategies for the future, and do any catching-up or enrichment work that may be useful.
When major assignments and exam dates are announced
When assignments pile up, backlog accumulates, and overwhelm sets in
Whenever students or parents are interested in exploring academic options of any kind
Any time parents and/or teachers are concerned about academic performance and/or faltering grades
Any time a student feels he or she is "just not doing well"
Any time parents or students are concerned about excessive pressure or stress
When there is a concern that a student is not being sufficiently challenged in school
Read more here about when and how academic coaching can help.
How will we know that the coaching is working?
My job as an academic coach is to help you to adapt as effectively as possible to whatever your circumstances may be. This would be impossible if I didn't make my own adaptability a top priority.
I use neither fixed, pre-set methods nor fixed, pre-set measures of success. Grades alone can never tell the whole story. Parents who believe that only straight As can confirm success are likely to be disappointed. When evaluating progress, I am looking to the whole student. Are his or her feelings of motivation, self-reliance, and confidence growing? Is he or she feeling better able to formulate goals and to conceive of a path to them? When obstacles or complications arise, does he or she feel able to remain composed and to deal with them effectively? Is Is he or she developing grit and resilience?
My goal is to help students to take charge of their own educations. I see success when a student is thriving in a broad sense and feeling invigorated about learning.