Hello BU Moms and Dads! First, I want to say a big “Thank You” to those parents and students who joined us for the BU Parents Bash at Homec0ming this weekend. It was a great time, and Patrick and I both enjoyed finally being able to see the faces behind the names of people who’ve been sending us emails, blog comments, and facebook messages. Those who joined us had a great time (and so did we!), and I think we all look forward to more and more events like this in the future. Watch out, BU parents, as Uncle Sam would say, ” We want you!”
Today, midterm grades are due from professors and posted to students’ mybellarmine.edu accounts, so students can access them. This is often a day of self-evaluation for many students. For some, it is a day that eases anxiety. For others, it’s a day that creates dread as they contemplate the work they need to do between now and the end of the spring semester. For some students, it can demarcate the place where they are spurred on to sprint to the finish, or the place where they drop out of the race completely.
When I speak with students who are struggling at midterms, my biggest concern is balancing encouraging support with motivation and discipline. I want them to know that someone is acknowledging their hard work, but that that someone cares enough not to ease up. I want them to understand that yes, making changes is important, but those changes have to be significant enough to realize the goal they hope to achieve.
Today, I asked students some defintive questions: are you doing enough of the right things right now to get you to your goal by the end of the semester? If not, what changes still need to be made? Detail specific steps and actions it will take for you to get there.
If your student is struggling, encourage him or her to examine and reflect on the particular things (not just subjects, but styles of tests, types of information, and types of assignments) that are difficult. What are some specific managable goals you can set to address those difficulties, and how do you plan to achieve them?
It’s not far to the finish line now, though for some students it will feel like a marathon. The trick for us to help them keep up that forward motion.
Jessica Hume, c/0 2005
Director of Writing and Parent Communications, ARC