Do You Set New Year’s Resolutions?
If you’re anything like me, my new year’s resolutions are usually phrased like ‘get better at X’ or ‘do more of Y’ or ‘don’t do Z’. These goals are well meant, aimed at helping me to grow into the happy, confident and successful person I want to be.
But how do I know I’m improving?
To work out whether I’m becoming more like the me I want to be, I need some metrics for success.
After such a tumultuous year where lessons, assignments and exams didn’t look like they usually do, it’s hard to know how to measure your child’s success. We can look at their report to see that they’ve achieved more A’s or no D’s, but surely there’s more to success than pass or fail?
Yes, there is!
At Nepean Tutoring, our tutors work with their students to determine individual definitions of success. At the start of each term, we reflect on the previous term and discuss what worked well (aka what we want to do more of) and what needs improvement (aka what needs to change). These goals guide our reflections for the following term.
The Private Tutoring Difference
Tutors do more than simply helping your child to improve their grades, though that can be a helpful indicator of progress. We have a team of over 45 tutors who specialise in early learning, primary school and high school literacy and numeracy. Across our high school tutors, we have tutors who are experts in every subject.
We also mentor students in study skills and organisation to help them create the habits and routines they need to reach their individual goals.
At the end of term 2, one of my senior students decided that she wanted to improve her proofreading skills and her working knowledge of grammar and syntax (sentence structure) so that she could write with more clarity and confidence. In our last lesson for this year, we compared a few of her written assignments and both of us were so excited and encouraged to see that by term 4, her written assignments were almost unrecognisable compared to the start of the year. Since we had a clear goal throughout terms 3 and 4, she focused on drafting and re-drafting her assignments and regularly asking for feedback on the technical skill of her writing. Most importantly, the improved clarity of her writing enabled her to record her ideas with confidence, and as a result, her imaginative and persuasive writing became more sophisticated and detailed.
Remember the student I talked about earlier? Something that helped her to stay focused on improving her grammar and syntax was that after each assignment was handed in, we took 10 minutes to reflect on what part of her preparation worked well and what she would do differently next time. By becoming more aware of her own processes, she became noticeably more confident that she could accomplish any task set before her.
Just as we detect an engaged listener by the questions they ask and how they respond to what we’ve said, we measure a student’s engagement in their learning by the insightful questions they ask and how they direct their own learning.
Critical thinking is driven by curiosity: asking questions and testing claims to come up with evidenced answers. While the specific metrics for success are unique to each student, for every student engagement and progress are measured as we notice the student merging fundamental concepts to solve more complex problems or putting forward more nuanced arguments that reflect higher critical analysis skills.
When I first met one of my students, he was quite shy and didn’t like to say much. He didn’t think he had any good ideas so he was reluctant to ask questions that he didn’t know the answer to. Looking back over the last 12 months, his teachers and I have noticed that he’s started putting up his hand in class and participating in discussions, and increasingly, his arguments respond directly to the question being asked and his claims are more compelling and based on a critical use of evidence. Another student I’ve been working with this year has asked me, of her own volition, to help her complete assignments a week before the due date so that she can submit them to her teacher for feedback to guide her revision process .
What Do Students Need to Be Successful?
If your child has goals for 2022, contact Us today to see how our expert tutors can give them the educational support they need to succeed.
From all of us at Nepean Tutoring, we wish you a safe and joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year!