College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Goodbye Summer. Hello Students.

I love you both. And I love teaching!

It’s a brand new school year. Get ready for:

A Fresh Start.
A new semester.

New Beginnings.
New Challenges.

And all the optimism, opportunity and rewards that come along with it. 

It’s my first day! Wish me luck! When do you go back to school? Are you excited? Ready? What do you like best about the first day? For me…it’s that sense of starting a brand new adventure. New students. New faces, New dreams. Being in a room filled with dreamers is a wonderful feeling.

Have a great start to a great year.

xo, Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher)

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Get Involved. Help Others. Have Fun. Summer Community Service for Teens

Coaches Corner:

Ahhh, Summer. To students, it means freedom and fun and lazy days with friends. With so much free time, this could also mean the perfect opportunity for your teen to try out volunteering at a local non-profit.

Often, teens need community service  for a high school requirement. Others want to volunteer as part of their preparations for applying to colleges and universities. But that isn’t what summertime is all about. Summer is about the unknown, trying new things, and finding new paths. That’s why trying on a new role as a volunteer is the perfect way to help others and have some fun in the sun! Endless opportunities exist for teens to get their feet wet and find an authentic way to get involved. Some teens will love the fast pace of organizing a soccer match at a youth camp, while others will love the serenity of restoring a park trail.

One simple suggestion–I am a big fan of libraries, and summer reading programs. These programs often use kids as young as 13 as volunteers to sign up participants, and help run events. It gives your child a chance to start small. Typically, a teen volunteers for a one-two hour shift just once a week. These programs couldn’t run without the help of the teens who show up each summer.

Check out what is going on locally this summer in your area and you just might find you have a teen that wants to get involved. A quick and easy web search will help you find an organization in need. One great resource is VolunteerMatch.org. They’ve connected over 7.9 million volunteers with opportunities to help in their communities.

Community service isn’t just a buzz word for a college application. It’s about all the good we do, and the good we feel, when we help others in need.

Whether you like the great outdoors, or prefer the great American novel, there’s an Opp for That! An opportunity to volunteer, that is. Here are more organizations that are in need of teens to volunteer in their programs:

United Way Be a reading mentor to a child who needs a little extra support

National Parks Help maintain and preserve the great outdoors

Volunteer.gov America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal

Major League Baseball Action Teams: Goups of high school students who plan volunteer events. They receive support from Major League baseball players & inspire others to volunteer.


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Cowabunga!!! 1000 Visitors to my Blog! #Happy!!

I am so #Happy. To celebrate, I’m having a party…

Ok, it’s a virtual party but consider yourself invited. This milestone is a big one:  over 1000 of you have stopped by College Ready, making it the “Little Blog that Could.”

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could... | A. A. Milne Picture Quotes | Quoteswave

THANK YOU! I am so thrilled with the support that you have given me over the past 2.5 months. I wish I had something profound and meaningful to say to mark this occasion. Instead, I’ll just say THANK YOU. For reading, for visiting, for “liking,” for following, for sharing, for commenting and again, for reading what I had to say. I hope that something in what I call my “Ed Soup” has been useful in your professional or personal life, or just to warm your soul.

I also want to thank all of you for inspiring me. The blogging community is sassy, smart, and full of ideas that launch conversations. And so many of you do it so well! While making it look easy. Anyone who writes knows that push and pull of fear, and risk, the anticipation of audience reaction. And the writer’s block, and the deadlines that you missed hours before the clock read 2 am. Far from easy, but you all write on.

WRITING ADVICE: At my last milestone (500 visitors on 9/30), I posted some writing advice from Hemingway. I’ll continue that tradition with one of his better-known quotes on the writing process:

Here’s what Philip Roth said of the writing process: “You build a book out of sentences. And the sentences are built up out of details. So you’re working brick by brick. And the bricks are heavy.”

And finally, here’s a post, courtesy of the amazing Brain Pickings where Jack Kerouac cites his 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life.

As I continue this journey, I look forward to working & writing alongside so many inspirational colleagues, who happen to be damn fine writers, creative thinkers and bleeding edge thought leaders. I am so lucky to know you all, whether F2F, or just here… In the Soup.

GOING FORWARD: College Ready Coach is a resource for parents and students who are navigating the college admissions process. We work together to evaluate what the student needs to be prepared. Academic coaches serve as mentors, and have been found to be the key ingredient in a successful college “launch.”

MY PART: In addition to working with a small number of clients each semester, College Ready Coach–hey, that’s me :)–commits to mentoring one student from a traditionally under-served population each semester, free of charge. We simply have to provide educational equality to students, and this is one small way for me to give back and “walk the walk.” Please do contact with me if you wish to nominate a highly-motivated high school student for this mentoring opportunity.

AND THEN, THERE’S YOU: You can be part of the journey by following the blog here, or liking the College Ready facebook page, and learning more about helping your students or your own children be “college ready.”

Together, let’s turn the crazy maze of college admissions into a road map to success. 

xo, Lisa