Making The Most Of Your Teachers
Early on in your school career it's pretty easy to pick up the idea that your teachers are judging you. After all they write the reports and grade your work. They hand out the predicted grades and they are the ones responsible for making sure you pay attention in class.
Sometimes we hear kids telling us that they will work "for" a particular teacher because they like them, and not "for" another because they are less keen on that particular teacher.
Who are you working for?
Let's get clear about it. The only person you are working for is you. Your teachers have got their qualifications. You are in school to learn for you. Qualifications equal choices. The more choice you have the more freedom you experience. You want to be free don't you? There is a better, more productive way of thinking about school and especially your teachers and it's got a lot to do with goal setting.
When you set goals for yourself, you are deciding what grades you want to achieve in your exams. Not what you think you can get, but the grades you really desire to have. The ones that make you feel pleased and happy about you.
So what is a goal and how do you set it? A goal is something new, something outside of your present experience, something you don't know how to do yet. If you knew how to do it and you really wanted it, you'd be doing it already and it wouldn't be a goal. You can recognise when you've thought of a goal by the way it makes you feel. You get a bit excited because it's something you really want and a bit scared because you don't know how to do it.
There's an easy way to set goals for your exams and it goes like this: Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. In the left hand column write down all the subjects you're entered to take exams in: Maths, English, French and so on. Next ask yourself a question. What if you turn up to school on time, pay attention in class, do your revision and hand in all of your coursework? What grade do you think you can get in each of your subjects if you do what you already know you can do now? Write those grades in the middle column.
In the right hand column write a grade for each subject that is one whole grade higher than what you wrote in the middle column. This is your grade goal. For example if the middle column says a B then your goal is A. If it's D then your grade goal is C. If you have A in the middle column then your goal is A*. Make sure it is a whole grade, no pluses or minuses, you won't get pluses and minuses on your exam results statement when it arrives in the Summer.
Once you've set those goals then your teachers become a source of support and information. They can let you know exactly how far you are from reaching those goals right now and what you can do to close the gap.
I don't know any teachers who are anything other than delighted when a student shows real interest and commitment in their specialist subject. Go to your teachers and show them your grade goals and they will be delighted to help you. Teachers get fed up sometimes when they feel like they are forcing kids to learn. When you take responsibility for your own learning you'll discover a whole new increasingly positive relationship with your teachers.
Learning is meant to be fun and challenging. When you set goals and work step by step towards achieving them you will be challenged. You will also have fun and grow and get better results and be happier while you go about getting them.
It all starts with the simple but powerful technique of goal setting.
You can help yourself get motivated and learn more about goal setting on our website. There's the List & Persist Method to help you get organised and the Audio Patch to help you relax. There'll be tons more free help and advice coming soon as we work on building up our site to serve you the best we can. Until then get started now by downloading the Audio Patch, setting some goals and using the List & Persist Method to get organised.