Monday, September 22, 2008

Courage, Do You Have It?

Courage to Face Your Fears
When you are facing something impossible and unknown, do you have the courage to stare it down and succeed? Can you overcome the challenges to be a winner?

The biggest problem facing students that regularly get bad grades is the fear of failure. Bad grades are a habit that is usual and comfortable. No one really expects them to do well. When they do, they get a pat on the back from teachers, who hope it will last, but they don't truly expect it to. Let's face it, a reputation for bad grades is usually earned from lots of assignments either not done at all, or so poorly done that they might as well have not been done.

I think it is interesting how these students that often fail in the classroom, are some of the bravest in the school. They face down bullies with no problem. Teachers and principals constantly punish them, yet they come back every day. Sometimes they go home to situations that would scare any adult. But "doing school" is just too much.

In order to get ahead, students need to know what is holding them back, and leave it behind. What does it take? How do they make this happen? What will give students the courage, judgment and the power to face down their fears until success is a habit.

25 comments:

Kim said...

You have posted some very interesting questions and comments on this subject. How do these kids find the courage to face their fears and find the courage to find success in life? How do we as parents help them to find this courage? I think we need to keep encouraging them to push through, to try their hardest and best on everything. To give their best effort and when needed they need to ask for help.

Mr. McGuire said...

Kim,

I agree, we need to keep encouraging them to push through, to try their hardest and best on everything. It seems like the challenge is breaking the habit of quitting when it gets tough.

Melinda said...

Mr.Mcguire,
I hesitate to comment because of the impossibility to keep it short!
You have described my son, my third child, to a T. You have asked the almighty question for which I have searched diligently, for about two years now. What fear does he have to face down before he finds the courage, judgment and the power to be a hard working student,? ( to borrow your words) For my child, I know some of it is the fear of not measuring up to his older brother and sister who have been “A” students. So why try, right? But we have drilled into him so he knows his very best is what is expected of him, to be hard working and responsible. If that interprets into B’s and C’s, (and for him, it does) then, good work. Since he has chosen not to strive for this level of successfulness on his own, we as parents have had to pull him along and make him accountable, whether he likes it or not. We do this by having close contact with teachers, popping in frequently to get work and dates verified. We also have homework assignments signed by the teacher, organize his papers and folders, correct homework, tests for tests, be available for constant help and tutoring, to name a few. Is this exhausting, frustrating, time consuming, baffling? Yes, all of the above and more! So when you asked, “What is holding them back? What does it take? How do they make this happen?”, I thought, Eureka! but was soon disappointed to discover there were no follow-up pat answers. I would imagine that those lie within each child himself. So, until that hurdle is conquered I will carry on so he knows, quitting is not an option.
~~Melinda

Mr. McGuire said...

...there were no follow-up pat answers.I would imagine that those lie within each child himself. Our goal is to help each student take on the challenge. Only then will they be truly successful. But wow, what a challenge for us.

Melinda, thank you for writing!

brianna h. said...

I sure have courage. I have the courage to start getting my Words that count and Vocabulary paragraphs and sentences finished and turned in. I also have the courage to get honor roll. I have a little bit of courage at getting all my work in. It's kind of hard to get all my work in. Some work is Easy .

I think Melinda has point even though I'm not a parent. Parents would need to know what it takes for your child to be a super A+ student because I'm pretty sure they would want their kid to move on to college and get a good job, a nice house, and a nice car to drive to work and school. I know what it's like for a mother wanting their kids to have good grades and get all the nice stuff when you grow because I've been there.

emma h. said...

It is hard to get the courage to do well if you always fail. If I fail then it takes some time to get my grades up. Yet if you have bad grades and you know you can bring them up then you stare to fell dumb. School gets harder and harder as you go. The way I get my courage to succeed is by trying the stuff I failed on at home first before trying again at school. If I need more practice and I don't know it and I try it at school first and fail I will think I really can't succeed. I think that if you fail once try again at then try it at school. Courage takes time to gain. It took me about three weeks to get the courage to try in school this week. After some time I finely got the courage to come to school and work hard. You should try to gain the courage to work hard and succeed too.

brianna h. said...

I sure have courage. I have the courage to start getting my Words that count and Vocabulary paragraphs and sentences finished and turned in. I also have the courage to get honor roll. I have a little bit of courage at getting all my work in. It's kind of hard to get all my work in. Some work is Easy .

I think Melinda has point even though I'm not a parent. Parents would need to know what it takes for your child to be a super A+ student because I'm pretty sure they would want their kid to move on to college and get a good job, a nice house, and a nice car to drive to work and school. I know what it's like for a mother wanting their kids to have good grades and get all the nice stuff when you grow up because I've been there. What makes me want to succeed is I want to make it to college and get a degree and play college softball and have enough money to have nice stuff. What to do to have your child succeed is to make sure he/she on is on task. Just make sure they're doing good in school. If they have good grades.

Makayla B. said...

If you have bad grades and you so badly wanted to get good grades I'd put my foot down and do what ever I could to get good grades. Then after the school years over and you're thinking what bad grades you got that's when you think if you keep it up how are you going to get in to a good college and have a good job. That's why I would stop and at least try to get good grades. That's what I would do if I had bad grades.

sam.r said...

Sometimes it's the fear of grounding for me. Other times I try to push myself to get good grades. I like to tell my friends and family if I get good grades. If I don't get good grades I don't like to talk about school. I don't like it when kids say ''I can't believe you got bad grades on that.'' Or when they say It was easy. So I try to do my best some times.

trindi said...

What makes me want to get good grades is because I did not do to well last year. I got bad grades. I want to do better this year.So I can say that I did better. Also because I don't want to end up like my brother Matt. He has no job.

I would tell someone who don't want to get good grades that they better start trying or they are going to have a dead end job and they well not have a nice house or that much money.

Gabby L. said...

Courage takes a lot of power. I think if you try hard enough you can succeed the things you didn't succeed before. If you are about to fail you push your self harder because you don't want to fail. If you do fail you some times you lose all of your courage. Some times it pushes you harder and harder until you get A's and B's. I think courage is what helps you get better at something you use to not be good at. I think if you push your self not to quit you will break the habit of quiting.I think if you challenge your self you can succeed. Also I think parents should push their child into getting A's. I Think they should see your grades so they know how to help you get good grades.

sethr said...

What gives me the courage to push myself in grades is because I want to be successful. That pushes me to want to get good grades. I love to get a good grade I just love the feeling that's why I push myself. So I can have that feeling whenever I want. I think this feeling effects every one and when you get one good grade you try your hardest to get another good grade.

Kara M said...

I think courage takes a lot of work to build it up and tell your self you have to get good grades. How I try to get good grades is I set a goal and I think its easer to do that when your parents don't yell at you and when you want to do it for your self. I want to do it for my because sometimes I look around and all of the other kids have better grades than me. Thats when I want to do better. I think if you just put a little bit of hard work it will soon pay off. Some day I want to be successful.

Lily W said...

Every day I fear that I left my homework at home or I didn't do it. Fear is what drives you to do your homework, but courage is what drives out the fear that you have when you think you didn't do it. Every day I fear that I am missing a important paper or my homework, then I start looking all over the place for it, then it's right in front of my face. Courage is when you don't have fear and you know that you can do something.

Sarah B said...

There are lots of ways to bring your grades up first, always remember to do your work. If your having trouble you need to get help with that subject. If you want to get good grades I think you need some encouragement. I hope you follow my advise.

Paitaan W. said...

Every day I think I have missed a paper that I would need really bad. Then I ask the teacher if I am missing a paper and she says no. Every day I think I have missed a paper that I would need really bad. Then I ask the teacher if I am missing a paper and she says no. So then I go back to my set and tell myself I will do better to watch my papers. Then the next morning I thought I forgot my signed test then it just hit me all I remember I put my signed test in my homework folder. Courage is when you have the guts to remember where your papers are or anything else is.

jolene.m said...

I think people that are not at that courage point should try their best. Those people can also achieve and get to that courage point by telling themselves that they can get there if they try. Last I think people should look over and over until they think it is good enough to to get a good grade. Those are a couple ways they can get courage to try their best.

corbit .c said...

I get the courage to get good grades because my brother gets good grades. I do not want to be made fun of. So every time I want to quit I think of him and push on. So that is why get good grades.

Christian W said...

Corbit, I think it is cool that you use your brother as a role model.

If you get bad grades you aren't failing anybody but yourself. Your parents or teachers know that you will do poorly on most of the tests or H.W assignments, but usually they tell you to try harder the next time. If someone tells you that they got an A and you look down at your paper and it has a big F. How does that make you feel? Do you always expect to get a bad grade? I have grown up to where I know that I will get in trouble if I get a bad grade. The next time you get a bad grade look at your paper. Find all your mistakes, then ask your teachers if there is any papers you can do to help your grade.

colin H said...

I hope I have courage if not I want to have it.

I think courage is important because if you don't you will have a hard time in life. You have to find courage to be able to face your fear in life. If you don't have courage find it. You have to have courage to stand up for your self and others. And to stand up to bullies.

Austin s said...

I think that I am just about to start punishing myself when I act foolish and just goof around and get bad grades. If I don't my mom isn't going to give me the money for a car or college. It wouldn't even matter if I went to college because I wouldn't be able to get any good jobs because I wouldn't be able to read.

loonyhiker said...

I meet with students who are not doing well and we try to figure out together what it will take to make them more successful. Sometimes students have great ideas and teachers aren't willing to listen. This is part of self advocacy and we need to encourage it. I have many students turn a failing grade into a passing grade when we made some adjustments (some on their part and some on mine). Teachers sometimes see this as a criticism about their teaching style and they need to rise about this inferiority complex to think about meeting the needs of their students.

Mr. McGuire said...

Great point loonyhiker! I think the worst mistake a teacher can make is underestimating his/her students. They know so much about what is going on and how to make it better. When they have ownership in the class, and in their situation, they are much more likely to succeed.

Jacob y. said...

I have courage because When something gets me down I keep trying and trying until i get it right. so When something gets you down just keep trying until you just give up.

ryan V said...

I hope to have courage if I don't I want to earn it.