College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Make a wish, Spread your wings, and Fly

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly you cease forever to do it.”

This advice is from J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan…and it works for all of us. Never stop believing in your goal. Or, if you notice that you do stop believing…it’s probably time to find the next goal or chapter in your life.

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Because you? You were meant to FLY!

Happy Tuesday, Happy Summer…happy life!

Leave a comment to let us know your summer wishes. Feel free to share this post! ā¤

xo~Lisa

ps: I took this photo and I’m pretty happy with the way it all turned out. šŸ™‚

Photo by @english_musings


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The Only Writing Advice You’ll Ever Need

The simple but true writing advice I give my students:

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Truth! And this is true not just in writing, but in teaching, too. Let students see at least a little bit of the real you. Authentic connections lead to engaged, connected classrooms.

Happy Saturday, friends,

Lisa (aka The Happy Teacher)


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Light Some Fires: The Top 4 Strategies for Student Success!

As a college instructor for over fifteen years, I’ve learned the importance of starting off the semester with a framework for student success. Although you may find it hard to schedule it in, taking time for this type of discussion in the early weeks is so valuable and will lead to better student outcomes, more engagement, and higher student retention.

These are the “Top 4” strategies for student success we’ve been discussing in the classroom:

1. Growth Mindset: Intelligence is not “fixed.” You are not programmed at a certain level of “smart” and that’s that. Your brain is like a muscle, and with more use, and practice, you can grow your dendrites. (See also neuroplasticity.) You can improve in a subject area. For example, it isn’t that you “just aren’t good at writing, never have been,” but that you have not yet learned the right combination of skills and techniques for that assignment. Once you have these skills, (in writing or another subject) you will see steady improvement.

2. Personal Survey: Find out how you feel about learning. (See #1 above regarding how self-limited beliefs can shape outcome.) What were your previous experiences like with this subject matter in school, higher education, or in the K-12 school system? Think about your prior knowledge and experience (schema) on the subject. Find a connection, with your courses, & the college. If you’re not already excited for the semester, find some way (student clubs, sports, etc.) to get excited. The brain on positive is 31% more productive than on negative, stressed, or even neutral!

3. Goal Setting: establish “SMART” goals. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. For best results, write or type out your goals and address each of the SMART areas. When you think about and set goals early in the semester, it leads to you taking the small steps to achieve those goals. For example, it’s fantastic to say, “Well my goal is an A in this class.” You have a positive attitude and are setting high expectations for yourself. But, what specific action steps will you take that will lead you to obtaining that grade? How many hours a week will you study? On what days? Where?

4. “The Basics.” Read the syllabus. Go to (every) class. Visit your instructor early and often when you have questions. We welcome, expect, and want you to come to office hours! We don’t bite! I promise! And we’re even kinda funny, in an endearingly nerdy sorta way! Again, I promise! šŸ™‚

If you are a student, let us know in the comments which of these strategies you find most helpful, or most difficult, to put into action. If you’re an instructor, let us know if you spend time during the early weeks of the semester working on these metacognitive strategies, and/or which others you might add to the list.

For more on all of these topics, (including the research that backs it up),Ā check out our blog archives, or leave a comment with any questions. We like–no–LOVE questions here at College Ready Coach! Now go out there and light some fires!

Happy Learning~~Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher!)


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Super Soul Sunday: Advice on living a happy life.

Good advice for a successful day & a happy life. Especially for us English professor/writer-types and creative people of all kinds. We need poetry, and song, and art, and connection, in all its forms. It’s good for the soul. It’s even better for fostering creativity.

I try to incorporate a little of each every day. How about you?

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Make sure to take that little bit of time out to do some part of Goethe’s recipe for living a happy life.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

xo, Lisa (aka–The Happy Teacher)

Ā 


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Something for your Sunday. You are Free to Fly.

We are all free to fly. Education gives us wings. We each have the power, the ability, and the freedom to fly. What we need is the belief.

Free to fly

This is why I write so much about the power of our beliefs. As educators, we need to closely examine our own beliefs. We need to know that we are showing up each day to do our best for all of our students.

For our students, sometimes, we need to get them to understand that we (teachers) will believe in them, until they believe in themselves. Until they believe that they are free to fly.

A child is not the place he or she was born, the amount of money they have, or the books they have read. The opportunity gap leads to a self-esteem and a belief gap. Often, the biggest obstacle first-generation students face when it comes to college success is not passing a class, or acing a test, but actually believing that they belong. Right here and now. In college.

Mentor a student. Help them believe. Change a life.

Thanks for reading.

xo~Lisa

aka, The Happy Teacher


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How To Bust Through Writer’s Block. Causes and Cures for a Blank Page.

One writer’s thoughts on writer’s block, and an infographic from StudyMode that breaks it all down. Reblogged from Street of Dreams’ blog.

Street of Dreams

the abyss.
a freshly fallen torrid
that stretches as far as a the eye can see.
a blank page
what do you do when the cursor
when the pen and paper
leave you snow blind?
medium_writer_s_block

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Honoring our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

Remembering & honoring all of our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day. Thank you for paying the ultimate price for freedom.

Image courtesy of nextavenue.org

Remembering and honoring our fallen heroes on Memorial Day. Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice to our country. 9 Quotes That Capture the Real Meaning of Memorial Day. From nextavenue.org


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24 Quotes for Living a Happy Life, from Dr. Seuss

Let’s face it–all the best quotes come from Dr. Seuss! I think I could comfortably say that everything I ever needed to learn, I learned from him. Kindness. Respect for the Earth. Tolerance for people who are different than yourself. Treating the smallest among us as equals. Loving yourself.

I thought I’d share this collection of inspirational quotes now, since it is commencement time and young people are graduating, from Kindergarten to college. You can’t beat theĀ timelessĀ advice of good ole’ Dr. Seuss. There’s something here for EVERYONE.Ā He’s the original guru!

All the best quotes come from Dr Seuss--he's a guru.

My favorite little tidbit…the one I hold near and dear to my heart? “A person’s a person…no matter how small.” What about you? Do you have a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss? Let us know in the comments.

You can order this print via Momo Prints on Etsy.Ā 


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Writer’s Say: Just Write. Pick up a Pen and Write.

Author of Writing Down the Bones, writing guru, Natalie Goldberg, has this to say on how to be a writer:

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Why Happy Teachers Matter

This week, I’m posting some favorite quotes and images in honor of all the amazing educators out there who teach, inspire, mentor and encourage our nation’s youth to keep moving forward. Happy teachers are a positive force for change. One kind word can impact the entire direction of a student’s life, and one lesson can light the spark that produces a lifelong learner.

Remember to #ThankATeacher this week!

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Image via CommonSense Media.