THE STUDENT MASTERY PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The program is designed to teach students how to excel in the job of “student”. Most parents in Fairfield County, Connecticut are high achievers who mastered their work to succeed. Most fully embrace the need for training their children to succeed, particularly in the highly competitive atmosphere in Fairfield County schools. “Student” is the longest job that most people will ever hold. Yet, there is no training for this job. Motivation is the most critical part of the program. But, shifting student psychology is one piece of the whole. There are best practices for student effectiveness that must be instilled after the student is motivated.
On the issue of what is we actually do, parents naturally want to know how our program works. Not surprisingly, mothers and fathers approach the issue differently. Mothers will discuss their children and our process for helping their children endlessly. We usually have to bring such discussion to closure in order to move on with my day.
Fathers, on the other hand, want quick, bottom-line, sound bites.
So, when asked for a super quick summary of our Student Mastery Program, we respond: motivation plus study skills.
But, to create a more vivid analogy, consider what a good fitness trainer provides:
1. Outside accountability
Adult clients of younger physical fitness trainers will apologize for not doing what was asked. This is a strange dynamic. The older adult is the paying client. The younger trainer is the service provider. This scene illustrates the great advantage of the trainer-student relationship and the importance of outside accountability. As most every parent has experienced, the parent-child framework becomes highly challenged during the teen years. The relationship often becomes boss-worker, at least from the child’s perspective. Unfortunately, this leads to the child tuning out the parent. It often astonishes less self-aware parents that an outside academic coach can get their child to do something that they have been telling the child to do for years. But, we have a giant edge: we are not the parents!
If you have an appointment with a trainer, then, at the very least, you know you will be engaged in intense exercise for that hour. Even better, you might have worked out or ate less in order to be in shape for the appointment and so that you could report to the trainer that you have been good! The same paradigms hold true for our students’ relationship with their Student Mastery coaches. At the bare minimum, the student will be on top of his work for the period of engagement with the coach. But, parents have noted delightedly that their children will do their homework and study in between sessions since they knew that they will have to report their progress.
3. Best Practices
There are habits of excellence related to the work of students:
- Study skills
- Time management
- Executive Functioning
- Test-taking mastery
- Homework-busy work mastery
- Classroom/ teacher relationship
To stay with the training metaphor, your trainer knows how to optimally exercise.
From both an effectiveness and efficiency perspective, your trainer will show you how to maximize your workout in an optimal time frame. Our Student Mastery coaches do the same for our clients. There are better ways to study, to manage time, to get through busy work, to perform in the classroom, to prepare for tests and do all the big and little things that make students successful. Parents often forget that their knowledge of how to work has emanated from their nearly two decades of experience as a student plus whatever time they honed their work skills in their subsequent jobs.
How would a normal teenager figure out the best practices for working effectively? They will either learn on their own, which will be inefficient, or through battles with you, which will be emotionally draining, or with an outside expert who will efficiently and effectively train the student while simultaneously eliminating the unnecessary tension that fills the house due to school.
4. Our process
After listening to our clients describe their child, we figure out the best Student Mastery coach match, much as you would when picking out an optimal personal trainer. Personality, gender, location, and subjects of challenge are some of the factors that we consider. Quite often, we try to match the student with a coach who is also a subject based tutor in the area of challenge. So, for example, if we have a student who could benefit from our Student Mastery program but is also in need of math tutoring, we will endeavor to match with one of our Student Mastery coaches who can also tutor in math.