How to be a Successful Student

[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Ask questions when you don’t understand something and when you do. All of my classes are about questioning what we know, how we know it and how we change (and our actions change) as a result of knowing. So if I introduce something in class that you don’t get, stop me. If someone else offers a point of view that makes no sense, stop that person and ask for clarification. One way I can tell that you’re truly progressing is by the kinds of questions you’re asking.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap]Participate in class discussions. Silence may be golden in some settings, but not in my classroom. By speaking up during class discussions two good things happen: I get to know you better and I get to give you a correction –we get the chance to show you something you didn’t realize already. You might be passionate about the subject, but silent passion doesn’t help much in my grade book.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap]Be a little bit selfish. If you believe that your success at school is important to your future (and I hope you do) make sure you’re getting as much as support and training in High School, so you are prepared for the future. High School, if you do it right, can give you a powerful advantage in college and the world of work. But how well trained and prepared you end up also depends on you taking advantage of development opportunities. So ask your questions, negotiate, lead, change what we explore in class, and in the community of the school, and promote your values. Speak your mind and ask for what you need.

[dropcap]4[/dropcap]Keep track of current events. Make it a point to be newspapers or news websites, you never know when an interesting article will pop up. And I’m always open to spending time on the things you pull in from outside of class.

[dropcap]5[/dropcap]Keep track of upcoming events and assignments. IB students are under a fair amount of stress, but being organized is a good way to avoid further stresses. If you have an up-to-date planner and are on top of your schedule you’ll find your life becoming less stressful and more productive.

[dropcap]6[/dropcap]See me after class if something is not working out. I’m in my room K403 most classes. Drop in some time if you need advice or assistance – or just to say hello. I actually care about you and how you learn. And if you’re reading this, you obviously care too. So let’s make sure you get all the support you need.

[dropcap]7[/dropcap]Go with your strengths. It’s important that you know how you learn and that you find ways to use your strengths to your advantage. The more you are considerate and attentive to the techniques that work better for you, the more you can apply these techniques and benefit. In short: do what works best for you. If I have assigned a written task and you would learn better by creating a podcast, we can often do that. The point is obviously that you learn and that you are growing as an leader, a manager and a thinker. Whatever I can do to help you on your path, I’m happy to do.
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