Understanding mAke the grAde: Giving Every Learner What They Need To Succeed

The academic struggle is a complex and misunderstood issue. The traditional perspective that when a learner fails the fault lies with them is flawed. So also is the perspective that the educational system must be failing the student if the learner is not finding success and growing academically and intellectually. There are many factors unique to each learner that directly impact their academic success.  Individualized education plans and 504 academic accommodations can only do so much to address a learner’s needs, and not every learner qualifies. 

You may have already experienced the effects of your child struggling in school, especially when that struggle is expressed through behavior at home and in class. Highly intelligent learners often have to work harder to master content and achieve academically if their needs are not being met, and when they don’t find the success they often act out their frustration. It’s like they are their own worst enemy and sabotage their own success. 

Why is this issue so prevalent? The fundamental obstacle to their success hasn’t been addressed: no one has given them what they need. Even in a private school setting with small classroom sizes, many learners still struggle to understand concepts and earn high grades. There is a reason they continue to struggle: no one is helping them figure out what their learning needs are. 

Supporting Every Struggling Learner Is Our Specialty

This is where mAke the grAde can help. We help students at every level establish the following:

  • Mapping out their unique learning style and needs so they can see it for themselves
  • A rapport with an individual tutor who dedicates to addressing their learning needs
  • A social learning environment where they can support and be supported by peers who are also seeking to improve their academics

Once upon a time, every child was excited by and loved learning. Many of them get lost somewhere along the way due to circumstances beyond their control. Every child is also on their own timetable for intellectual and academic growth. Some kids read later than others, but when they start reading they advance more quickly than their peers. Others struggle with simple math concepts for a few years. But as time passes they find math is their favorite subject. Their individual development is a significant factor in their success. School systems both public and private often overlook this educational need in favor of standardization.

 mAke the grAde provides tools, strategies, and motivation so that your child can maximize their education. We have found when students know their learning needs are met, they quickly become inspired by and excited about learning again. It’s a simple but powerful model that offers significant rewards even for learners who seem unmotivated and resigned to their academic “fate”. What are that sets mAke the grAde apart? Let’s examine that in detail together.

mAke the grAde: Self-Esteem, Independence and Advocacy

Every learner has tremendous potential to achieve academically. Every student has challenges. Some students can overcome these challenges on their own and some need support. Being able to overcome these challenges enables a student to reach their full potential. Additionally, the inability to address or overcome these challenges can hold a student back and prevent them from reaching their potential.

Many factors can challenge a student. Sometimes it’s social factors like negative experiences with teachers, other students, or an instructor in a particular subject area like math or science. Perhaps they did poorly on a benchmark assessment or reading performance test that left them feeling less capable than their peers, or they found they struggled more than others to maintain the same academic pace. These experiences affect their engagement with all future learning and can lock the student into a static mindset where they must accept the judgment of others as final regarding their intelligence or academic potential.

In other cases, learners simply may not know how best to approach problem-solving in the academic world. They are hesitant to be independent because their learning has always been a top-down education model where the teacher is the authority, and they are to learn only as their teacher instructs them. They have no inclination or motivation to strike out on their own to find solutions to the problems posed in their class. When they can’t do it the way the teacher asks them to, they come to believe that they are unable to do the problems and they start to question their ability.  In reality, only their perspective of the problem needs adjustment, but they can’t see that because they have never known anything else.

Worst of all, asking for help is seen as a weakness or a lack of intelligence by themselves or their peers, so they don’t advocate for themselves. Moreover, some learners fear (or have been chastised for) self-advocacy because it makes them social disruptors in the classroom. They are afraid to “hold everyone else back.” So they keep silent and suffer, causing them to internalize their feelings of failure, frustration, and inadequacy as being their own fault.  

mAke the grAde is all about addressing these three fundamental learning needs to unlock each learner’s potential: Self-Esteem, Independence, and Advocacy: 

Self-Esteem

Our learners learn from the beginning of their tutoring sessions that where they have been does not determine where they can go. We evaluate their learning needs in a collaborative process to help them understand they can achieve academic success given time, perspective, and a growth mindset. Setting small, short-term achievable goals is a critical component of rebuilding your learner’s self-esteem. This is the foundation of confidence they will need to turn their academic lives around. It is also the first step to falling in love with learning all over again. 

Independence

To quote a popular phrase by Jack Sparrow, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Every learner learns from a young age that when you have problems, you must solve them. The problem is students rarely know more than one approach to problem-solving. They learn how the teacher solves problems and never make decisions about how to approach problems outside what they have been taught. Learners don’t generalize their learning because they have never learned how to apply their problem-solving skills in more than one way. 

mAke the grAde focuses on teaching students multiple problem-solving approaches and skillsets in every academic discipline. And we focus on finding practical and workable solutions more than rote memorization of formulas and strategies. When real problems arise in the classroom or in life, they have a complete toolkit to work with independently.

Advocacy

Knowing how much you don’t know is the mark of true wisdom. It can be humbling, but even the strongest and smartest of us must ask for help when we don’t understand something. Knowing where to get correct and useful advice is critical. mAke the grAde focuses on teaching students how to ask for help in productive ways, and offers the opportunity to consult an expert in a non-threatening setting away from peers. This is why self-esteem and independence are fundamental to our model. It is impossible to help a student ask for help if they don’t have the self-confidence to know they can learn and the skills to independently solve their problems once they have asked for help and support. 

Teaching advocacy is also the key benefit to both our individual and small group tutoring sessions. It allows learners to gradually ease into asking for help in a classroom setting where they might otherwise keep silent. We believe without self-advocacy, students will not unlock their potential. So we teach its value in helping students address their own learning needs.

Final Thoughts

mAke the grAde offers unique benefits to students which enables them to overcome their individual challenges to learning through addressing their unique learning needs. Students are not learning robots despite the best efforts of conventional education models.  If a learner’s needs are not met in the classroom, they will struggle, grow frustrated, and likely give up. They can only take so much before they shut down, and it’s a normal human response.

Our goal is to help them see past their frustration, have confidence in the power of their own potential, take control of their learning with independent problem solving and advocate for themselves to overcome challenges when they lack knowledge or need help. It is as effective as it is simple. Every learner can benefit from what mAke the grAde has to offer. Visit our website today for details about how your learner can benefit from our services anywhere in the world.

Don’t forget to check out our mAke the grAde community where you can find all the latest and greatest ways to keep maximizing your child’s education.