Is Your Focus on High School?
I’m a high school teacher. What’s my job? To inspire students to dream big, facilitate their love for learning, and have 100% of them ready for college and their career.
My reality… my students don’t give a flipping pancake about learning! They have many priorities: work, athletics, girlfriends/boyfriends, video games, challenges at home, and social media. School is at the bottom of their list.
The parents of my struggling students either don’t care or are unreachable. If I do reach them, they challenge every aspect of my professional craft. I’ll relent and try another individualized approach to teaching their child.
I only have 100 additional students…
My administrator wants my students to perform better on standardized tests. An expectation that increases every year.
My community thinks I’m lazy and overpaid. They believe I leave the building at 3pm every day, and work 9 months out of the year with extended holiday breaks.
Resources? Ha, ha, ha! Yeah, right! My school has “no available budget.” This is especially true in a year when we’re negotiating a new teacher contract.
And so many new initiatives! No Child Left Behind. Race to the Top. Common Core. What’s next? Every one of these seem to drain the school’s money and my time and energy. I’m tired, deflated, and worn-out.
I’m left to myself, a “one-man” band. I’m the one holding the hot potato. Stuck with the old-maid card. And when the music stops, there’s no seat left for me.
My Students Are Still Struggling; Whose Fault Is It?
It’s not the parents that raised them (or refuse to take my phone calls).
It’s not the administration’s fault that built a new, state-of-the-art, football field, but can’t buy the curriculum materials I need.
It’s not my legislator’s fault that thinks a few more standardized tests will fix the problem.
And, it’s certainly not the students’ fault! Why would we hold them accountable for their learning?!
Soooo, it must be my fault.
I Feel Like Clark Kent. My Students Are Still Waiting for Superman!
The system demands I teach content, more content, and still more content. Followed by testing, more testing, and still more testing. When the desired results have not been reached, the system adds more content and testing.
Isn’t that like the definition of insanity?! Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Meanwhile, there’s a simple superpower hiding in plain sight. The System has never taught students HOW to learn and organize. And, in the process of shoving content and tests at them, it has completely squashed their motivation and spirit.
Data from the National High School Center suggests that ninth grade is the most important year in high school for determining drop-out rates. A joint report from Princeton University and the Brookings Institution found “in 1970, there were 3 percent fewer tenth graders than ninth graders; by 2000, that share had risen to 11 percent.”
Attendance, behavior, and academic performance are the three most significant indicators of a student’s likelihood to either quit school or move on.
It’s a spiral that makes perfect sense. If students don’t come to school, they’re not present to learn the curriculum. If they don’t learn the curriculum, their academic performance is poor. If they aren’t succeeding academically, there’s nothing positive to focus on. This leads to poor behavior. Further, students whom misbehave seldom feel respected by adults in the school. Why would students want to return to a place where they feel disrespected? As a result, attendance drops and the spiral continues.
It’s critical for freshman to find success early on if we want them to flourish in later years.
There’s a simple set of skills that can transform everything for your students… and for you!
According to a study performed by Ohio State University, teaching study skills to high school students makes a huge impact on graduation rates. “Struggling” high school students that learn study skills are 45% more likely to graduate, while “average” high school students are 600% more likely to graduate.
Education Is Ignoring a Fundamental Law of the Universe!
If you don’t believe Ohio State University, there is a fundamental Law of the Universe that explains why teaching these skills will increase student performance while requiring less work for you!
The universal law is the 80/20 rule (also known as Pareto’s Principle). This law states that 80% of our results really comes from 20% of our actions.
Think about the clothes in your closet. Do you wear all of your clothes the same amount? You probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
Think about your drive into work and the roads you traveled on. Do all roads handle equal amounts of traffic? Nope, 20% of our roads carry 80% of vehicle traffic.
Do you spend equal amounts of time with all of your friends and family? If you’re like most people, you probably spend 80% of your time with the 20% of friends and family you value the most.
How Does 80/20 Impact Education?
What is the most important 20% of your curriculum that is responsible for 80% of students’ success?
If you’re a Chemistry teacher, is it the periodic table of elements?
If you’re an Algebra teacher, is it orders of operation?
If you’re a Language Arts teacher, is it grammar?
If you’re an American History teacher, is it the US Constitution?
Perhaps it is some other area that you teach, that you find most important.
Whatever your “most important” concept is, how do you help your students master it?
Perhaps you could create a more engaging lecture. Maybe it’s a group project. Or a research paper. Would more homework do the trick?
The problem is, you and your students are working harder and harder.
You’re Focusing on the WRONG 20%!
Ohio State’s study clearly identified the right 20%… study skills.
The education system historically adds more content and more testing, hoping it will increase student performance.
But, without the skills to be strategic learners, you’ll continue to see the same mediocre results.
Study skills teach students how to:
- be organized
- manage time
- improve reading comprehension
- listen effectively
- take more comprehensive notes
- communicate more effectively in written and oral expression
Once students have these skills, performance sky rockets in all subjects!
In Ohio State’s study, “struggling” high school students that learn study skills are 45% more likely to graduate, while “average” high school students are 600% more likely to graduate.
Teaching study skills is an 80/20 power strategy. It doesn’t take much time. A small investment that will have a profound impact on student performance and teacher effectiveness.
“This all sounds great, but who has time to research/create a study skills curriculum?”
Good News. You Don’t Have To. We’ve Done It For You!
There is one –and only one – complete 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
The SOAR® curriculum is used in thousands of schools. SOAR® has been THE best-selling study skills book, in the world, since 2007!
Is Your Focus Also On…?
SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills Curriculum
The SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills curriculum includes our award-winning student workbook, student app, and popular Multi-Media Teacher's Guide. Explore the curriculum below...
We Offer a 100% Money-Back Guarantee
SOAR® Is Guaranteed to Provide:
- a 0.5% GPA increase across your student body.
- a 20% improvement in student confidence and attitude, as measured by the pre and post Study Skills Scorecard.
- a 30% reduction in missing assignments.
…or we will issue a full refund, as part of our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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