Often teenagers ignore the early signs of failing and before they know it they are in danger of failing a class. Don’t let failing grades creep up on you.
As a person with many years working with high school students, I would see it happen over and over again. I always warned students to watch for the early signs of failing a class and that the signs are evident even before the first grading period or progress report.
It is all in the attitude and approach to the class. If teens do not heed the early warning signs, before they know it they are in danger of failing and one step closer to failing.
Do These Excuses Sound Familiar?
The list of ten early signs is a warning that you are not taking the right attitude towards your class. Watch for these warning signs. If you often make these types of comments or have such thoughts, it is a clue that you may be heading towards danger.
- Always feel that the course covers too much material.
- Not agreeing with the teacher’s comments and not trying to respect the teacher.
- You start the class with the expectation that you are entitled to a good grade.
- Making the excuse that topics covered in class were not on the exam or vice-versa.
- You complain that the teacher expects too much participation in class. You think that completing the assignments alone is enough for a good grade.
- You are always complaining that the class lectures are boring.
- You are upset that you study for hours and think that high school credits should consist of a few hours of work per week.
- You claim that you know the material but just do not perform well on exams.
- You do not have time to study. Your priorities are wrong.
- Students are customers and feel they have the right to complain about low standards that affect credits, but they must keep in mind that they are also products of a school. Are the graduates of the school lacking motivation, knowledge and skills? Or is it just you and/or a small group of students who are having problems in class? Reflect about whether it is your fault or the school’s before placing blame.
Turn It Around
Does the above sound like you or a teenager you know? Instead of complaining about class, do something about making sure you do not fail. Here are the things I always recommend teens to try to do that will help improve their grades early in the semester.
- Ask for help from the teacher, tutor, academic adviser, friends, the learning center on campus and even people in the school community. Ask for help the very first time you do not understand the work in class.
- Find out your options if you realize you are failing. Check with your teacher and academic adviser about what can you do in this situation. Find ways to immediately work on correcting the problem.
- Also be realistic and review the logistics – whether you can drop the course and when is the drop deadline? Allow time to coordinate all the logistics for whatever you plan. If is very important to work hard but also consider what type of class it is and what will be the outcome of getting an F in the class.
- Take immediate action about the situation. Do not let time pass.