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Just2 Tutoring & The Reluctant Student

When a student, for whatever reason, begins to disconnect from class content they often feel at a loss for how to get themselves back in step with the class. They feel awkward about approaching the teacher for support and often lack the skills to review past material while remaining up to date.

They can appear to be apathetic in class, are often non-productive and assessment performance may begin to decline. While the student may or may not have the ability to identify this as a recurring pattern; often, their parents do. These kids are bright and frequently come from supportive homes and have siblings who academically excel.

Let me tell you a bit about Chris. Chris was a recent Just2 Tutoring student whose family contacted us after a period of hesitation. During that time Chris’s school troubles compounded and when his mom was referred to us a third time she realized that the universe was attempting to offer some direction. It was late in the semester and we quickly activated our services, beginning with our initial intake and greeting meeting. Chris, while he have managed to maintain quality grades in two of his classes had earned below passing grades in two others and was facing the same situation for a third. Chris was reluctant, he was sceptical and he was frustrated. He felt that he was making an effort with little to no results; the supportive adults were critical of what they perceived to be a lack of consistent effort.

Every student wants to be successful; however, many kids have built layers of apathy around themselves over the years. It is our job to figure out what they want and to incentivize their success. Incentives may be a short term arrangement or might span the course of the semester. The best incentives have smaller rewards built in which culminate in a larger reward. Many parents tend to lean in the other direction in an attempt to motivate their kids, resulting in a loss of their smart phone or driving privileges. While these more punitive approaches may be effective, they often strip the student of their most effective organization and transportation tools. The results of which are both inconvenient and disabling for both parents and their child. Considering incentives that are meaningful to the student and accessible to the family often create a system of success.

I often meet with families who report that they have tried it all and the frustration and stress level have reached an all time high. After a few J2 sessions, we might suggest a Psychoeducational Evaluation for a child who seems not to respond to systems of incentives or punishments. It is extremely important that we can confidently say that the student has the ability to work within the academic expectations presented. Often these evaluations result in a 504 plan or an IEP or the the testing may indicate no evidence of learning challenges. Either way, we can be assured that the student is working within his/her abilities.

Reluctant students are often labeled: lazy, unmotivated, disruptive, checked-out and stupid. These kids require an academic mentor and focus coach who can revive their drive and re-ignite their desire to succeed. J2 focus coaching provides the necessary advocacy and communication with school personnel to rise above the derogatory labels. We work with students to discover their inner motivation by experiencing success and receiving the accolades and rewards that they deserve.

J2 accountability creates consistent contact and a powerful rapport between your child and their focus coach. The positive rapport increases motivation and that motivation manifests as productivity. Productivity breeds increased classroom engagement and assessment scores which result in significant grade improvement. As grades improve motivation to succeed compounds until our independent learners emerge. We see this happen each semester and J2 will show you how accountability contact will create academic integrity while addressing the needs of executive function and focus challenges of your child.


Mike Manning
Mike Manning began his teaching as Learning Specialist and Program Coordinator in inner-city schools on both the East and West coasts. He was recognized by the Superintendent of SFUSD for outstanding performance prior to his relocation to Colorado. Mike studied Gifted & Talented Education at University of Northern Colorado while at BVSD's CHOICE Program as Case Manager and, in 2001, launched Just2 Tutoring. Today, Mike and J2 serve twice-exceptional youth enrolled in local public and private schools in … more »
Mike Manning

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