Impact Insights

Personal Growth Outcomes for Students

Lana Learn academic coaches emphasize personal growth outcomes for students who are lacking motivation in the classroom.

After a month of class observations and program planning, High Impact Tutoring (HIT) program sessions at Thurgood Marshall Academy began on March 30th. I had been eagerly anticipating this moment for a while. The first few coaching sessions involved getting to know the students and building student/coach relationships for both individual and group sessions. The focus of these sessions is facilitating personal growth outcomes for students.

We had the initial “What’s possible?” conversations about the program and worked on setting individual goals for each participant. The students showed full engagement and commitment from the start. None of them knew what they had been selected for until their initial coaching sessions. Despite this, each one of them immediately understood the opportunity. They have consistently brought great energy and focus to their coaching sessions. 

Common Themes Among Students in the Classroom

Thurgood Marshall school staff had emphasized that altough these students have great potential, they are seemingly lacking motivation. They told me, “These are B students who should be getting A’s!” and I shaped these initial sessions to follow up on that.

After speaking with the students, I found there to be some common themes among them. Student boredom in class was a major theme as well as lack of challenge and motivation.

These included students getting bored in class, not being challenged enough, and lacking motivation. Some of the students even want to get assigned more challenging work, but aren’t receiving enough individualized attention from their busy teachers.

Solutions to Combat Student Lack of Motivation

The challenge for me as their academic coach became clear rather quickly. How best to engage each individual participant, based on their responses and personalities, to facilitate the best possible academic, intellectual, and personal growth outcomes? 

To me, the first step is for each of them to take more ownership of their learning and academic growth. Obviously, academic grade improvement is a key goal for HIT program participants. However, as their academic coach, I also see their potential growth into classroom leaders and peer tutors.

I am grateful to the Thurgood Marshall team for that initial month of student observations and program planning. It allowed me to understand the role I had been brought on board for. Essentially, my responsibility is to academically engage, coach, tutor, teach, mentor, provoke, and inspire the students. I want them to transition from their “very good” academic profiles to grow into excellent, high-achieving leaders in their classrooms. 

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