Is Your Focus on “At-Risk” & Title 1 Students?
Of the 3.2 million teachers in the United States, only a select few are special enough to teach at-risk students.
Are you one of them?
If so, you prepare yourself daily to work with students who might:
- Be hungry.
- Have been beat-up on the way to/from school.
- Have been assaulted by a parent or another family member.
- Not have a safe home environment.
- Have been a victim of sexual abuse.
- bounce from house-to-house.
- Be in and out of foster care.
- Live out of a car.
- Be in a gang, or considering one.
- Not trust anybody. (Because they’ve never had a reason to.)
In reality, you are both a teacher and a social worker.
Somehow, you have to overcome these challenges. And you have to teach your students how to succeed with the state-assigned curriculum.
You’ve lost count of the number of days you’ve gone home in tears or thought about quitting.
Who could blame you?! This task seems impossible some days.
Every day you tell yourself to stay positive. But nearly every hour highlights some “atrocity” that leaves you thinking “WILL IT EVER STOP?!”
Change the Conversation!
No matter how hard we try, we cannot control what happens to our students outside of our classroom. But, in your classroom, you can ask a powerful question that can change their lives forever.
This question is so simple. But most students, especially ‘at-risk’ and Title 1 students, go their entire lives without ever hearing it.
The question is so bold, it will stun and fluster most students, leaving them speechless. Some students may become defensive when asked the question in an attempt to divert attention to another topic.
It’s a question that has NEVER appeared on a standardized test! Some people may wonder “Why you would ask such a question?”
But, employers ask this question in interviews. So why don’t we ask it in school?
It should be the first question we ask in education! But it’s rarely asked at all.
So, what question could be so powerful to elicit such emotions and responses?
“How Are You Smart?!”
This question instantly changes the conversation from “You’re broken!” to “There’s something special about you, what is it?”
For the first time ever, a teenager may be wondering “What’s right with me?” instead of “What’s wrong with me?”
Change the focus from:
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Why can’t you learn that?”
“What’s keeping you from succeeding?”
“Why/how are you going to fail?”
“What’s right with you?”
“You can learn that!”
“You will succeed and here’s why…!”
“How are you going to thrive?”
Can One Question Really Change Everything?
This question, “How are you smart?” was first asked in 1896. A young woman in the slums of Rome was put in charge of a group of children labeled “idiots” and “impossible to educate.”
Hmmm… sounds like “at-risk,” right?
That teacher studied and observed her children. She paid careful attention to what they were naturally inclined to do. She followed their lead, and respected their choices.
She was looking for an answer to, “How are you smart?”
She unlocked her students’ natural gifts. She discovered intelligences others had failed to see. The children’s curiosity flourished and their confidence soared!
These “idiot” and “impossible to educate” students went on to surpass “normal” students on standardized tests!
That teacher was Maria Montessori. Her methods are still used successfully on every inhabited continent on the planet, in every socioeconomic setting. Graduates of her methods include: Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Whales, Helen Keller, and Anne Frank, to name a few.
How Does One Question Produce Such Astounding Results?
To answer this, we look to a fundamental law of the universe, the 80/20 Rule.
The 80/20 Rule states the 80% of effects come from only 20% of causes, or 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our outcomes.
You’ve witnessed this law in your everyday life. Perhaps you’ve noticed:
- You wear 20% of the clothes in your closet 80% of the time.
- 80% of the traffic shares 20% of the roads. (Did you get stuck in yet another traffic jam today?)
- 20% of your students require 80% of your attention.
The 80/20 rule applies to education well. 20% percent of what we learn has 80% of the impact on our performance. The key is selecting the right 20%.
When you ask, “How are you smart?” you unlock the 20% of education that will lead to 80% of results.
Start with the Question. Build from There.
You’ve asked the question. You’ve started the conversation. Now your students will look at themselves in a whole new light.
Little by little, they begin to think, “Maybe I’m not broken. Maybe, I do possess something that few others have?”
But, Then What?
Let’s be real, this question will not feed your students. It won’t protect them from the troubles in their life. It merely starts a new conversation.
You’re still a social worker, surrogate parent, safe zone, and shoulder to cry on. This won’t change; your students will always need you for that.
But, asking “How are you smart?” unlocks so many roadblocks and opens a whole new set of options for the future.
Look Out Goliath, Here Comes David! And He’s Armed With the Right 20%!
Are you ready for the “most critical” 20%? Are you ready for the 20% of educational skills that will bring the 80% of results you’re students need?
Are you prepared for your students to learn, grow, and thrive? Not just “survive?”
Are you ready to launch your own “David vs Goliath story? To watch your students (“David”) conquer the odds against them (“Goliath”)?
Are you prepared for the questions that your peers, administrators, and parents will ask? They’ll want to know what you’ve done to bring about such dramatic results!
Since You’re Still Reading, Your Answer Must Be YES!
There’s one set of skills that will transform your students’ academic performance. These skills ARE the most critical 20% of education.
These skills are known as “study skills” in education. In the workplace, they’re known as “soft skills.”
They also happen to be the Anchor Standards in the Common Core.
Students who master study skills learn curriculum with greater effectiveness and efficiency. In the workplace, these skills will allow them to outperform their peers.
Study skills teach students how to:
- Become organized.
- Manage time.
- Read with increased comprehension.
- Listen effectively.
- Take more comprehensive notes.
- Communicate more effectively in written and oral expression.
Once students learn these skills, performance will sky-rocket in all subjects! Motivation is no longer a roadblock because the conversation began with “How are you smart?”
Ohio State University published a study showing that study skills make a dramatic impact on graduation rates! Students that learn study skills are up to 600% more likely to graduate after learning study skills!
Your students can increase their likelihood of their success by 600%, just by learning the most critical “20%” skills… study skills!
Study Skills… Done-for-You and Ready to Go!
There is one –and only one – complete study skills curriculum solution available.
- Is proven to raise student GPAs by an average of 1 full point!
- Has been declared 98.5% effective by teachers.
- Covers 100% of the Common Core Anchor Standards.
The Solution is the SOAR® Soft Skills Curriculum, where students learn how to effectively:
- Identify students' strengths & “SuperPowers” (according to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences)
- Set goals
- Establish priorities
- Manage time
- Organize papers, desks, lockers, & other space
- Speak & listen effectively
- Work with teachers & peers
- Read and understand textbooks
- Take notes
- Study for tests
- Write research papers
- Prepare for presentations
- Track long-term goals
Is Your Focus Also On…?
The SOAR® curriculum is used in thousands of schools. SOAR® has been THE best-selling study skills book, in the world, since 2007!
SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills Curriculum
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