Tutor: Failure is NOT an Orphan
But you don't want to be its parent, right?
You’ve surely heard the saying, “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan,” or at least integrated its essential wisdom into your own life. After all, who doesn’t want to claim a connection, no matter how tenuous, to victory, or act like they’ve never met abject failure before even when you guys go way back together?
Failure, however, is most certainly not an orphan. Not only can failure be found on a family tree, but unwillingness to research its parentage is the surest way to ensure lots of little baby mishaps, defeats, and disasters in the future.
When a test taker crashes and burns, standard operating procedure should be–at least after reasonable amounts of comfort food and self-pity–to sift through the wreckage for clues. The proverbial black box in this metaphor is the student’s own recollection of the events both leading up to and during the test. Your role is to ask the right questions in search of actionable insights such as what to do next time to avoid undesired outcomes and cultivate success.
This topic came up recently as Amy and I discussed BREAKING THROUGH SCORE PLATEAUS with Shahar Link of Mindspire Tutoring and Test Prep–posting to the podcast on October 10. During our talk, I referenced a useful Test Preparation Checklist a renowned college professor put together for students disappointed with their scores. However, after going back to the checklist, I realized that many of the questions lacked specific relevance to the kinds of debriefs those of us in test prep undertake. So, I made a new one just for standardized test prep!
You’ll find the link below with this week’s other Tips, Tools, And Thoughts, and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Ideally, we can crowdsource an industry-standard checklist that helps isolate causes of failure in ways that students and teachers alike can build on.
If you’re not in the practice of helping students unpack their unsuccessful outings, you might reconsider your stance. As a tutor, you have a vested interest in helping your students audit the real reasons for their underperformance. Obviously, you want your students to succeed on their retests, and–just as obviously–you want to be recognized as part of the solution and not the problem itself. Otherwise, you’re likely to find that bundle of joylessness left on your doorstep.
Failure is NOT an orphan.
Tips, Tools, And Thoughts
Standardized Test Preparation Checklist
The ultimate audit for disappointing scores on high stakes tests.
How listening to students’ stories can improve math class
Before you dive into numbers, start with a letter.
Goals Research Summary
The study may be small, but I’m a sucker for evidence supporting accountability, commitment and writing down goals.
AI won’t replace teachers, but it can make them more effective
Think of AI as a dishwasher rather than a robot maid.
5 time management tips for entrepreneurs
If you’re trading time for money, you can’t afford to waste either.