Introducing A B Ready to Parents
Hello, I’m Bob Ballinger, Welcome to A B Ready.com, a website dedicated to preparing high school students to do college-level work, so they can avoid the need to take remedial courses in college. Now this has three important advantages:
- students save time,
- they save money, and most importantly
- students who are ready to do college-level work increase their chances dramatically of graduating from college…on time.
By now you know that I was a high school classroom teacher for 34 years. I have taught hundreds and hundreds of adolescents. I know them; I respect them. I think they are some of the most fascinating people on earth. And I believe they are in serious need of helpful information and guidance from adults. So, that’s why this part of A B Ready.com, is directed to parents, guardians, relatives, and other significant adults, such as teachers and trusted friends of the family, who want to be effective “academic coaches” for adolescent students.
First, let’s think about what it means to be a coach. In baseball, for example, a coach does not stand in the batter’s box and bat for the player. A coach, however, does the following: encourages the players to do their very best, suggests adjustments to the players’ stance and swing, and helps the players to reflect on their performance. Likewise, an academic coach builds an adolescent’s confidence, points out where improvements can be made, and shows appreciation for meaningful accomplishments.
Now, I know, if you are a parent or a teacher, you may be thinking, “how can I do everything that an academic coach is supposed to, when it’s all I can do to keep my frustration in check?” I know from personal experience about the yelling, the screaming, and the tears that can result from talking with adolescents about their school work. I don’t condone those behaviors, but I do understand them. Parents, you may have put in a long, hard day in at work, and you may return home late at night to find that your daughter still hasn’t done her homework. Teachers, you may have 125 students or more to keep track of. And, you know that this young man could be more successful in school if he would only stop clowning around and pay closer attention in class. The emotional investment that parents and teachers have made in adolescent students is significant and can easily lead to enormous frustration.
Having said all that, let me tell you about two families I was working with some time ago. The two fathers wanted to change from being battle-weary parents to being patient and understanding academic coaches. In one session, I asked one dad to talk to the other dad’s daughter about her school work. Here’s what we observed. There was no yelling. He spoke to her calmly and respectfully. He honored her thoughts and helped her to clarify what she was trying to say. By the end of the conversation, the girl had promised to make significant adjustments to her study routine in an effort to become a more successful student. Her own dad was amazed with the progress she made in such a short period of time. He, himself, promised to be more encouraging and less threatening in the future.
If becoming an academic coach sounds like something you would like to try, then, I invite you to join A B Ready.com where you have free access to all our video lessons and other on-line resources.
Thank you for your interest in helping students to experience greater success in school. See you soon.