Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. I’m failing… help! Straight facts to help you try to rebound!"— Presentation transcript:
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. I’m failing… help! Straight facts to help you try to rebound!
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Students often fail a class because they did not seek help or did not know help was available. The GOOD news is that help IS available if you look in the right places. But before we explore what some of these options are, we will briefly look at common reasons why students fail…
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Identify The Problem Students begin failing classes for different reasons. Pinpointing the underlying problem and working from the vantage point of the problem may help you increase your grade in the long run. On the next slide are some common reasons why students fail classes.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Reasons why students fail Lack of preparation for exams Do not know what or how to study Poor time-management (not enough time studying) Course material is more extensive (or harder) than the student thought it would be Do not have the prerequisites for the class Been away from school for many years & have not seen/worked with the material in a long time Learning disability Verbal or other communication problems
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Talk to your professor The #1 thing you should always do is talk to your professor. He is the most capable person to tell you whether you even have a chance of passing the course and what specifically you can do. The fact that you took the initiative to seek his assistance may work in your favor.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. When talking to your professor: Always be respectful and never let differences in personality or belief systems cloud your judgment. Remember, while you are in your professor’s class, you MUST play by his rules.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Questions to ask your professor: “Can you look at my notes and tell me if I am getting all the important points?” “Can you guide me in what I should study for the next exam(s)?” “Based on my past performance on exams, can you give me specific study advice?”
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. What NOT to do when you talk to your professor: Automatically ask for extra credit (this is college, not high school) Ask your professor to give you “a break” (if you want “a break”, go to McDonald’s). Complain about how hard or unfair the class assignments or exams are (unless everyone is failing, you have no ground to stand on). Downplay the importance of class or homework.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Dump all your personal problems (professors have their own, they don’t need yours) Make excuses for YOUR lack of time- management and/or study problems. Immediately ask if there will be a grading curve. Beg for your grade to be bumped up (do you honestly think that an employer will respond when you beg for your salary to be bumped up? No? Then why should your professor bump your grade? Salaries and grades are both earned – NOT GIVEN!). What NOT to do… continued:
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Form study groups Talk to other students in the class who might be willing to form study groups and plan definite times to meet. If you are already failing or in danger of failing, this is NOT the time to form study groups with your buddies who are also not doing well in the class. Now is the time to meet and study with the ‘A’ students in the front row IF they will work with you.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Find someone who has taken & passed the class who can help Find an upperclassman who can help. You need to be resourceful and ask friends, professors, and maybe the staff in the departmental office if they know anyone they can recommend.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Ask staff in the department if they have graduate assistants who can help Some departments have graduate assistants employed who may have a degree in the subject you are failing and who may willing to help you. Your professor may have a graduate worker assisting him with teaching or research that he can recommend. But note: getting help from a graduate assistant may not be free
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Find academic resources on campus Find out if there are free academic resources on campus that you haven’t learned about yet. Such resources may include: Writing Centers or the Math Lab The Center for Student Excellence in Southeastern Hall Different kinds of tutoring labs Computer labs with assistants
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Ways to find existing academic services on your campus include: Searching the university’s website Visiting the Office of Student Academic Affairs Visiting the Student Government Office Asking other students Asking professors
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Talk to other professors in the department who you know If you have had other classes in the subject matter and have built a rapport with another professor, you may try visiting him during his office hours and asking for assistance. Some professors are more than willing to extend extra help. However, you may find others who will refer you back to your professor. This is one reason why you should always seek assistance from your professor first.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Hire a private tutor If you have the financial means, hire a tutor as soon as possible. Also, be aware that if you are failing or in danger of failing a course, one study session will NOT be enough. Most likely you will require tutoring at least 4-5 times a week for the duration of the semester.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Facts about tutors Tutors (whether you pay them or receive their services for free) are NEVER responsible for your failure in a class if you still fail.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Students’ myths about tutors Oftentimes students who seek the assistance of tutors believe the tutors can “magically” help them raise their grade and they rely on the tutors to do all the work. It is important to remember that if you have a tutor, you must still work very hard to bring up your grade.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. How to work with a tutor You should already have questions prepared that are specific & directed toward your problems. Good questions include: “Can you explain this concept or paragraph to me?” “Is this how you do it?” Is my method of solving this problem or answering this question good?” “What do you think about…” (and propose a solution)
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Be cognizant of what you feel and how you act Bringing up a failing grade takes a GREAT DEAL OF HARD WORK. It is expected that you may become tired and frustrated. Also, it may not be easy for you to admit when you are not doing as well as you like and admitting when you need help. When you seek someone’s help, make sure you do not immediately give them all your work, mentally shut down, and then expect the tutor to propose all the solutions.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. What NOT to say to a tutor: “Explain everything to me” “I don’t understand anything” “ Just teach me…” These comments are too vague and do not give anyone enough information to know where to begin, focus, or end the process of helping you. You will only waste valuable time and when you are failing a course, you don’t have time and energy to waste on learning irrelevant material.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. What NOT to say… continued “There is no solution” “You’re wrong” “I don’t believe you” “Prove it” It does not help to argue with someone who is trying to help you or disregard their advice when the solution is not what you want to hear. Most likely their solutions involve work on your part and you must continue even when you are tired.
Copyright 2003, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. These are the straight facts Good Luck & Work Hard