Thursday, January 23, 2014


EVERY year students fail due to a host of reasons.
That is a concern to parents, guardians, teachers and students themselves.
A student who is starting Grade 12 this year told me over a social network that he had problems and was not sure what 2014 would be like. He was a bit fearful because 2013 was not a very good year for him. 
Since he sent a personal note to me, I replied and urged him to take care of certain aspects of his school life. Those may be the aspects that, if not attended to, may prevent him from getting the best grades possible.
I am sharing some of these tips given him with you.
Note the aspects that may be hindering you from getting the best grades – and make the relevant changes to get those desired grades, grades which can open up more opportunities for you in the future. 

Resolve to do better
First of all, you must resolve to turn things around – meaning, work in all ways to turn your negative results into positive.
Work to raise your grades in all subjects.
You know, you can have the best school, the best books and best teachers and still perform badly if you (the individual) do not resolve to excel in your studies.
In other words, you should take responsibility.

Spend sufficient time in your studies
At primary school level, many of us got by without studying – we relied on our natural brilliance to work our way through tests and exams.
This practice will not work as you go higher up – you must spend enough time in each subject you are studying.
(I learned that hard fact with Maths. It was much tougher in Grades 11/12 than in Grades 7-10.)

Limit the time spent with peers
There is nothing wrong about enjoying yourself with peers, but make sure that enjoyment does not rob you of your time to study.
You can play sports but make sure you complete your homework every day.
That is to say, learn to get your priorities right. Work come before play.  

Relate well to teachers
There will be good teachers – and some who you cannot say are that good. (The student said something about teachers in the note he sent me.)
However, regardless of how good your teachers are, you should work hard nonetheless because your grades will determine how far you will go on with your education.
You must remember that you are not necessarily trying to please a teacher (though that may happen) but to carve out a path for you and your people.
I once had a Science teacher who was eccentric (some may say weird). Among other things, he would draw a big red cross in your notebook for a small mistake you made. It was often discouraging.
But many of us enjoyed the subject (despite the teacher’s unconventional ways) because we wanted to do well in it.   

I hope these points get you to wake up, resolve to do better and work for better results in spite of the teachers or anything else that may be hindering your progress in school.
School will be starting soon.
Make those changes and you will see the fruits 40 weeks down the road.

Next item: Why you should aim high – not just getting by

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