Every student has a bad report card at least once in their academic careers.
As the mid-term exams approach, dealing effectively with a bad report
card is a great way to ensure a better grade in the final exams. Being
pragmatic and practical is a better approach to bad report cards so that
you and your student can move to a more positive and effective study methodology.
Get the whole picture
It’s important to understand the whole picture before working on
a strategy that will improve grades in the future. Ask your student to
explain what circumstances led to their drop in grades. Social or emotional
factors that you may not be aware of can have a huge impact on your student’s
performance. If they are not willing to communicate, try a more congenial
tone and ask questions that are more specific. For example; if your student’s
only response is “I don’t know,” ensure that you are
not angry or emotional. If you are, take a break and revisit the subject
when you feel more relaxed. Instead of asking; “Why is your math
grade so low?” ask more direct questions like; “What parts
of the curriculum did you not understand?”
Once you have established what the underlying causes are of the lower grades,
ask your student what they think can be done to remedy the situation.
Really listening to them and involving them in all aspects and decisions
will make them feel part of the process and is more likely to meet with
cooperation than solutions that are imposed.
Talk to your teachers
Ask the teacher about your student’s performance if your student
is earning below a ‘B’. Ask if they have turned in their assignment
on time, if there are social issues you need to be aware of and whether
your student has been applying themselves in class. Your teachers are
there to help and they often have insights that could be vital to your
student’s development. Ask your teacher to identify the root of
the problem and suggest possible solutions. Together you, your student
and the teacher can discuss strategies for improving grades.
Get an in-home tutor
If your student is struggling in a specific subject, it may be time to
get a tutor. In-home tutors offer
one-to-one tutoring that really helps to improve grades. Knowledge is a structure and if your
student is missing some of the basic building blocks, no amount of studying
will improve their understanding. A tutor can go back and find the gaps
in their knowledge and fill them in. Working in-home also gives your student
the confidence they need to succeed.
Set realistic expectations for your student’s grades and don’t
put them under so much stress that they experience anxiety or neglect
their social lives. Try to strike a balance between studies and social
development. Talk to your students and really listen to what they have
to say. Remember that students are growing and developing and they are
bound to perform differently as they have their ups and downs; stay positive