While summer will always be my favorite season, this time of year presents particular challenges for educators. Every student and family carries particular learning or prep goals into the summer, but– far too often–other plans and priorities push academics to the end of the year. We always see a flood of students seeking to compress months of prep into the final two weeks of August, usually right up to the August SAT.
But can months of prep and practice really be condensed into a shorter time frame? Not really.
Yes, students with sufficient motivation and time can accomplish a ton in a short period.
Yes, students can work with their coaches to interleave instruction, practice testing, and review into a productive daily rather than weekly sequence.
Yes, prepping at the last minute is better than not prepping at all.
But no–you can not expect to improve at the pace of your deadlines.
Improvement takes time, particularly when people are seeking substantial improvement in fundamental reading, writing, problem solving skills. A student cannot magically become a better, faster reader in two weeks just because the big test is in two weeks. Everyone improves at their own pace, for better or for worse.
Author Joyce Meyer observed that patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. To all of our students now and in the future, take this advice and remain patient while you improve. Internal understanding and maturity–not external pressures or deadlines–dictate your rate of growth. Be patient and persistent if you want to be successful.
Even better, plan ahead to make sure you choose the time and tempo for both preparation and optimal test date to allow yourself to progress to your very best ability and performance!