College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Want to be a writer? Read, write, repeat.

Want to be a better writer? Read more!! Advice from Stephen King, who knows a little bit about the craft. This is the same advice I give to my student writers every semester. Reading and writing are connected. So, read, write, and repeat.

quotes on writing stephen king


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Advice to Writers: Read Good Books

“If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you.” ~NATALIE GOLDBERG

Books are beautiful. Books are art.


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Monday Motivation:

Get up, get going, and look fear in the face.

#MondayMotivation

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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! ❤

xo~Lisa

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

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! 🙂

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), 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)