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        By Scott Lutostanski

It’s a common story in high school. First semester is supposed to be a breeze. It should go by without a hint of challenge or struggle. However, by the end of the semester, things don’t exactly turn out the way the student or parents expected.

We hear from families in this situation. The parents aren’t happy, the student is disappointed in themselves, and everyone wants a better outcome. This always comes back to the same questions: Where do we go from here and how can we have a better second semester?

Coming off a rough semester, it’s important to follow a simple process to make changes and turn things around.

Reflect and build awareness- Revisit first semester and examine what happened. What were their strengths? What were their challenges? Where do they feel like they can get better and improve? By examining questions like this (and many, many more) we can get to the root of the challenges of the first semester. This is especially relevant coming off a semester that was completely virtual.

Identify goals- Next, we identify the goals the student would like to strive for. Goals can come from a variety of different areas. Usually, GPA is the first one. We have supported students through study, sleep, eating, exercise, and more. Students need to clearly state what they are hoping to achieve in over second semester. Given the lack of structure and autonomy students are given with virtual learning, this is a crucial step.

Put together a plan- Take the goals and lay out the monthly, weekly, and daily steps that are going to be necessary in order to make them a reality. As with all goals, we can make positive progress by breaking them down into smaller steps and using more incremental steps to get there. 

Follow through and execute- This last part is the most challenging. Our coaches support students on a weekly basis, help them hold themselves accountable, and follow through on the steps they’ve laid out. Coach or not, students need to be able to have frequent check-ins, monitor their progress, and evaluate themselves. With the virtual/hybrid school environment, self-accountability and self-control are some of the most important skills that students need to be successful and learning to do this will help them be more effective.

When students are able to evaluate their last semester, create goals, plans, and then execute the plan, they are more likely to have a successful semester. Our coaches help students “right the ship” after a challenging first semester and develop the skills they will need to excel.

If this sounds like your student, feel free to contact us at info@galined.com.

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