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A new semester can feel like a blank slate for your student. Many students head back to school after the winter break thinking, “This semester will be better!” But, how do you turn that “fresh start” feeling into new habits and skills that determine academic success?

4 Steps to Make Spring Semester a Success


1. Reflect and build awareness.

It is east for student to think that to succeed in the new semester they just need to “try harder.” But to make real changes, students and their parents need to understand what exactly needs to change. Revisit first semester and examine what happened. Parents can help their students reflect using the following prompts:

  • What did I do well/what a I proud of?
  • What habits or skills helped me succeed?
  • What was a challenge for me?
  • What do I think got in the way of my success?
  • How did I get help when I needed it last semester?
  • Who can I reach out to if I need support this semester?

2. Identify specific goals.

Now that you and your student have a better understanding of triumphs and challenges from the previous semester it will be easier to identify specific goals for your student to work towards in the new term. Goals can come from a variety of different areas – consider goals that focus on GPA, grades in specific classes, sleep schedules, study habits, screen time, extracurriculars, etc. Students need to clearly state what they are hoping to achieve in over second semester. 

    3. 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.

    • Example: If your student’s goal is to get an A in a class that has historically been a challenge for them, they should think about what habits could help them improve. This might include going to a teacher’s extra help once a week, completing the extra practice provided before tests, or raising their hand in class four times a week to ask questions. 

    4. Follow through and execute!

    Execution can be the hardest part of the plan. Parents can help their students by reviewing calendars and/or to-do lists at the end of each week. When conversations about about academic progress feel more like collaborative reflection than discipline, students are more likely to engage. If tension builds when it comes to talking about school with your student, consider an Academic Coach. Galin’s coaches support students on a weekly basis, help them hold themselves accountable, and follow through on the steps they’ve laid out. Frequent check-ins are a key to making sure students can execute on their well-laid plans!

    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.

    If you think an Academic Coach could support your student in this work, reach out to us for a consultation today at info@galined.com!


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