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Coaching Students: How to Align Children’s Academic Strengths

Teacher coaching students using a math problem book in a small circle.
Path to greatness!

Here at Sapphire Studies, we always describe today’s students as tomorrow’s stewards of society. Students may not fully comprehend their vital role in the future of our society, and that’s why coaching students on how to master the fundamentals of critical thinking, learning and development are so important to their evolution.

Therefore, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help students master their academic strengths. By coaching students and helping them apply problem-solving methodologies, their mindsets begin to shift. Instead of seeing a problem as an insurmountable challenge, they learn to see it as an opportunity to apply a valuable solution.

As students learn to trust in their capabilities, they develop confidence to take on new challenges. Confidence is one of the keys to success, and a confident upstart workforce is essential to supporting aging workers when they enter retirement.

Facts of an aging population

One day, the current population responsible for driving economic growth will grow older. Eventually, we all reach a state where we can no longer contribute to financing social services. Today’s younger generation will shoulder that responsibility so that our society can continue to enjoy the benefits we all appreciate today.

In Canada, the population is aging at a much faster rate than ever before. In 2019, according to the government’s Canada Pension Plan Annual Report, 5.9 million Canadians were receiving CPP benefits. Cumulatively, this added up to $46.5 billion in expenditures paid to Canadian seniors.

The government also forecasts that the number of senior citizens, aged 65 and older — who qualify for CPP benefits — is expanding six times faster than the number of children aged 0-14. Experts cite these statistics as reasons to increase immigration rates flowing into Canada as a prime solution to the shortfall in Canadian-born workers.

While this approach does make sense, there’s an equally practical solution that can be applied to our current population. That solution is to coach every student across Canada to hone their strengths and master their capabilities. By coaching students and teaching them how to achieve their full academic potential, we give them the tools that will allow them to make valuable contributions to society. As a result, they become vital contributors to senior social assistance.

Coaching students on how to fall forward

Part of the journey to achieve academic success is the process of learning and development. Ask any teacher, trainer, coach, or mentor and they’ll all provide some version of the same saying: making mistakes and learning from those mistakes is the best way to become better.

At Sapphire Studies, we describe this approach as the falling-forward philosophy. No one can expect to be perfect, especially when faced with a brand new type of problem. There will be mistakes, there will be setbacks, and there will be challenges as your mind opens to new ideas.

But it’s how you learn from those experiences that motivate you to try solving the problem again. Coaching students on how to use those experiences enables them to channel that energy into new problem-solving approaches. They learn from their mistakes and use those teachings to rise again when they face a setback; hence the phrase, falling forward.

Coaching students in a personalized manner

So what holds students back from academic greatness? There’s no one concrete reason and, unfortunately, the simplest way to explain it is the very vague saying, “It depends.”

However, within that general vague concept is one common thread, and that’s the way that children are taught new information. For many students, time in the classroom, and listening to a teacher read notes directly out of a textbook is not stimulating enough. Students feel disconnected from the learning process, and consequently, they fall behind.

In a very detailed research paper called The Evidence for Tutoring to Accelerate Learning and Address Educational Inequities During Canada’s Pandemic Recovery, the authors of the study describe how academic support programs provide more personalized and customized learning opportunities for students.

When coaching students, tutors, coaches, and academic support workers — whatever label you prefer — can connect with children on a personalized level. Rather than follow the same teaching formula from the classroom, material from the curriculum can be repurposed by these coaches.

Lessons are taught in a manner that appeals to each child’s individual needs. The subject matter is more personal, and therefore, it’s more interesting. Subsequently, students are more likely to retain that knowledge and develop the skills they can use to apply that knowledge back in the classroom.

Student success helps society remain prosperous

There’s an old saying that knowledge is power, and it’s a popular cliche for good reason. A well-informed mind has the tools to tackle any problem that appears in its path. All it takes to put those tools to good use is the confidence to believe in one’s inherent abilities.

Coaching students in more personalized manners unlock their greatest tools. As students acquire new knowledge and apply it to the best of their abilities, they learn through action. Actions lead to evaluated results, and grades that reflect hard work and dedication instill positive reinforcement within young minds.

When students feel better about their ability to learn — along with their ability to apply those learnings to solve problems — they have the confidence to become whatever they dream to be in this world. Confident and successful students will go on to become the economic workhorses that continue to support our society for generations to come.

Interested in coaching solutions to help your children at home? Book a discovery call with our Chief Learning Officer, and we’ll create a lesson plan that will help your child achieve their full academic potential!

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