7 Tools to Help Students Succeed

Feb 12, 2019 by

Student success is measured in a variety of ways from graduating with an impressive grade point average to landing your dream job or being chosen as captain of the football team. It takes a certain level of dedication, self-confidence, and work ethic to achieve these goals. But teachers can help provide students with additional tools for success. Some are tactical, while others are motivational. Here are the top 7 tools students need for success.

1. Work Ethic

Work ethic is 50% learned and 50% inherent. Some people are simply born with a stronger work ethic than others. But work ethic is also tied to being accountable for yourself and your actions, respect, and common decency. Teachers can play an important role in providing students the groundwork for healthy work ethic. Some examples include setting healthy boundaries, enforcing consequences, supporting student learning without completing it for them, and praising positive behavior and accomplishments. With a healthy level of support and praise, students will begin to feel the benefits and rewards that come from hard work, creating good work ethic.

2. Positive Mindset

Mind over matter. It’s a common belief and an important one for students to adopt. Having a positive outlook and perspective on things can completely transform the outcome. Being pessimistic changes your entire demeanor and behavior. When students tackle a difficult situation with negativity, the results are inevitably negative. But approaching that same problem with a positive outlook will change their approach and therefore, change the results. A positive mindset also ties into building self confidence.

3. Study Skills and Test Taking Skills

Personality traits play an important role in student success, but so do basic learning skills. Without strong study and test skills, even the smartest, most capable students will struggle. The reality is, some students are simply better at taking tests and studying for tests than others. Some people are born with a natural ability to retain information and then pull from that knowledge come test time. Others, freeze and forget everything they’ve learned when put on the spot and asked to perform. Adopting healthy study skills is about altering certain parts of a student’s life. They need adequate sleep the night before a test and a healthy breakfast that morning. Before test day, they should review information in a quiet environment. They can try different studying approaches as well including flash cards, reading text aloud, or joining a study group. Unfortunately, no matter how skilled a student is during class time, if their knowledge can’t transfer to their test results, it’ll hurt them in the end.

4. Stress and Time Management

Not all adults or teachers want to hear that students are stressed out. As adults, we know what real stress is. But the truth of the matter is that students in today’s world are expected to perform at much higher levels than before. Standards are high and competition is fierce. The pressure to perform, choose a career, join countless school clubs, and maintain a healthy social life can be very stressful for students. They need stress management tools to succeed. These are often connected with time management tools. Encourage students not to spread themselves too thin. Joining one or two clubs plus one sport is more than enough for one school year. Aside from these activities students should have a healthy social life, down time, and will most likely have a job. That’s a lot to juggle for a teen. Keeping a schedule or list of the day’s activities is a great way to stay organized. Students can use their phone’s calendar, memos, or an App builder site that allows you to customize apps for your specific needs.

5. Good Physical Health

Mental health and physical health are connected. If a student isn’t physically healthy, they can’t perform academically. Students should be active, whether it’s in organized sports or not. It’s also important they eat a well-balanced diet. Teens are growing at a rapid rate. It’s the time in their lives where they change from adolescents to adults. Their body requires adequate nutrients and vitamins, not a diet of fast food and junk. They also need adequate rest, which most students don’t get. Encourage them to go to bed at a decent hour. You’ll know the students who aren’t sleeping enough. They’re the ones nodding off in class, showing up late, or not coming to class at all. These are signs that an intervention may be in order.

6. Support System

They say a leader is only as good as their team, which means in order for students to succeed, they need a strong support system behind them. As a teacher, you can be one of the most positive influences in a student’s life. High school students are at an awkward age of acceptance and self-discovery. They’ll undoubtedly experience times of self-doubt and defeat. It’s your job to build them up, encourage them, and help guide them. This likely isn’t your first rodeo, meaning you’ve seen it all when it comes to filling out college applications, handling bullying, or basic academic struggles. Your students are new to all this. If the student’s parents are involved, team up with them to encourage healthy habits and enforce them both at home and at school.

7. Tenacity

The hardest lesson students learn (and one they learn quickly) is that life is hard. And it only gets harder from here. They need a winning spirit and tenacity. The sooner students realize that things aren’t handed to them in life and they actually need to work for what they want, the better. You can help students realize this in a gentle, tactful way. If things don’t go their way, don’t let them get down on themselves. Help them to reflect on the situation and learn from it. Where did things go wrong? What could they have done differently? Another great angle to take is helping students acknowledge which events are within their control and which ones aren’t. This stops them from placing blame on themselves and instead, accepting the situation for what it is and moving on.

There’s no way to know exactly what role you’ll play in student success. But one thing’s for sure, you will have an impact on their lives. So, make sure it’s a positive one. Arm your students with tools for success both in school and in life.

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