Paris Andrew, TIP’s Director of Partnerships and Engagement, is here to help gifted students. She used to run the residential programming at TIP’s educational programs, and she is completing a PhD in related areas, so she knows what she’s talking about.
I don’t know everything my teachers tell me I should know by now. They give us stuff that I can’t remember how to do and then I feel really dumb. I am worried that when it’s most important that I will forget everything I’m being tested over. How can I fix this problem? —NeedsHelpASAP, seventh grade
Thanks for sharing this question, as I am sure there are more TIPsters out there who may be dealing with the same dilemma.
A great first step is to adjust your thoughts to consider this as an opportunity, rather than a challenge. Celebrate your small successes and make note of the things you need to spend a little more time mastering.
Whenever I am trying to balance lots of things, and absorb information like a sponge, I reflect the late Dr. Stephen Covey, who once shared, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Duke TIP’s Independent Learning and Scholar Weekends may be of interest. They not only help to supplement and reinforce the information you are learning in school, but they also give you the liberty to sharpen your academic skills in a nongraded learning environment.
For more on Dr. Stephen Covey, you can find his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in your local library.
I get called a “know-it-all” or “honor roll student” in a mean way rather often. How do I react when people call me things like this? —Regan, seventh grade
You know, in life, there will always be people who will assign characteristics to you. Knowing who you are is one layer, but if you are looking for a way to react, you could remove yourself from the situation, or perhaps you can throw out some fun responses to give them something to chew on.
If you agree, you can say, “Indubitably.” If you disagree with this assumption, you can say, “Not exactly, but tell me something I don’t know.” If things are indeed at the bullying level, you should certainly update your family and teachers.
My friends always copy my work even when I tell them not to, and continue to do so even after I tell the teacher. Sometimes I feel like they just keep me around to copy off of me. What do I do? —Skylar, seventh grade
I commend you for taking the agency to hold your peers accountable through both of those strategies. Another layer is, of course, to keep your family aware, and to chat with your teachers about strategies to keep them informed, or to relocate your seated position during classroom tasks.
The late Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once shared, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Indeed, imitation is certainly flattering, but not if it can lead to failing a course due to copycats. You’re doing the right thing. I hope things get better.
My friend and I fight verbally a lot and I am not sure why. My parents say that it is because we are so much alike, but I do not think so. I need help now. —KittyCat, seventh grade
Without much context…I actually agree with your parents.
Having disagreements here and there is a normal part of life. In fact, at Duke TIP’s Summer Studies Program, a popular activity for students outside of the classroom is pointless debates. It sounds like you and your friend do this perpetually.
The question becomes: are you both putting in effort to resolve your disagreement? The fact that you are expressing interest in receiving help tells me, yes. I am wishing you two well and look forward to hearing how this goes!