Academic coaching is the hottest thing in education. You might be wondering what academic coaching for teens is and how can it help your teen?
I get it.
You have heard and used dozens of different kinds of support for your teen.
Some of them worked to varying degrees, and others were complete flops.
I’ve put together an article that outlines exactly what academic coaching is and how it can benefit your child.
But first, I want to tell you a story about a student.
Helene was like so many students in high school. She was caught in a cycle of starting quarters off well, drowning under the amount of school work expected of her, and then pulling things together in the last weeks of term. Her family had tried everything. Helene had subject tutors, an individualized education plan (IEP), and various accommodations at school.
Her parents were at their wits’ end. They saw what a talented young woman Helene was but had no idea how to motivate Helene to demonstrate her academic ability in school. They had tried everything.
After working with an academic coach for one quarter, Helene took ownership of her school work, studied independently, and no longer had a mountain of missing assignments. She increased her grades from a C average to an A/B level in one quarter.
Keep reading to find out how academic coaching for teens provides a different type of support that generates real, sustainable, and lasting academic success in teenagers.
What is Academic Coaching for Teens?
Academic coaching for teens is different than virtually every type of academic support currently available. The school system tends to focus on subject-related specifics (i.e., arithmetic, writing, reading, etc.). Each of these topics is taught in a manner that focuses on the specifics of that topic. Students are given practice that focuses on that specific topic. The focus is squarely on the content without considering the student.
Academic coaches are not focused on content specifics. Instead, they teach students the strategies they need to succeed in school. Rather than focusing on the nitty-gritty of a specific class, academic coaches teach students strategies like organization, flashcards, and assignment prioritization that the student can then apply in the classroom and at home.
An academic coach will also discuss the student’s emotions and help them find the motivation they need to do the expected work. In short, academic coaches teach students how to learn and give them the skills a teen will need in the long run.
There are teenage coaching courses that offer similar support. However, they lack the personal touch that an academic coach provides.
Is coaching right for your teen?
If you have tried other forms of academic intervention like tutors, IEPs, and conversations about motivation and hard work at home, then academic coaching might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
In the words of Bill Gates, “Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player. We all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
An academic coach for teens can give your child the tools and support that he/she needs to be successful in school. Coaching is a great alternative to teenage coaching courses.
Some common indications that your teen would benefit from an academic coach include the following:
- Lack of motivation
- Grades and potential don’t match
- Many missing assignments
- Does well on homework but poorly on tests
- School induces stress/anxiety
- Lack of consistent performance
How can Coaching For Teens Help your Family
Now that you know exactly what academic coaching is, you are probably wondering how a coach can help your teen succeed.
1. Coaching for your Teen Provides a Fresh Start
One of the biggest benefits of academic coaches is that they give your teen a fresh start. A coach is not associated with school and is not a parent, so often, teens are more comfortable receiving instruction and feedback from a coach. Like an athletic coach, good coaches also build relationships with the student.
2. Boost Motivation with Teen Coaching
One of the biggest challenges facing parents is motivating their teen. Academic coaches can help students find their “why” and empower them to find ways to sustain their hard work. Cultivating motivation is one of the most important things academic coaches do because, without motivation, a student’s success will falter in the long run.
3. Coaching to Foster a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is essential for sustaining success in school and life. An academic coach can help your teen identify goals, obstacles, and solutions. Academic coaches focus on empowering students to find solutions to their own problems. This is particularly important as teenagers begin to desire more independence. The prescriptive instruction many teens receive conflicts with their desire to be independent. An academic coach can help guide a teen to positively use this desire for independence.
4. Help your Teen Become an Active Learner
Many teens struggle academically because they don’t know how to be good students. Many often become passive learners. Passive learners expect the teacher to fill them with knowledge and not actively attempt to learn the material. An academic coach can help your teen become active learners by giving them the framework and behavioral guidelines they need to become more active in the classroom.
5. Overcome Boundaries and Boost Confidence
Many teens struggle with test anxiety, negative self-talk, and limiting beliefs. Whatever their root cause, these emotional boundaries can significantly hinder a teen’s ability and desire to succeed in school. An academic coach can work with teens to improve their internal dialogue and boost their self-confidence.
6. Build Foundational Academic Skills
In addition to the soft skills teens need to succeed, academic coaches can help their students develop the hard skills necessary to succeed in school. An academic coach can work with your teen to improve their organization, note-taking, and study skills. Students are expected to use these skills in school but are often not given direct instruction on how to use them. Without these skills, students will likely struggle academically.
7. Improve Time Management and Scheduling
Many teens struggle with time management, scheduling and organization. This can result in assignments taking longer than expected, late assignments, and “unexpected” tests. Academic coaches can help teens create an academic schedule that considers all their assignments, assessments, and other responsibilities. Additionally, academic coaches work with students to be more mindful and realistic about their responsibilities and how long they will take.
8. Improve Communication
One of the biggest challenges many teens face is communication. Many struggles to communicate their needs and boundaries with their teachers, peers, and parents. This can negatively impact their academics and compound the challenges they are already facing in school. An academic coach can work with your teen to improve their communication and help them advocate for the support and help they need.
9. Improve Relationships at Home
Even under the best circumstances, academics are a source of strain between parents and students. An academic coach can mediate between parents and teens and alleviate tension between them. A coach can have difficult conversations and provide the necessary accountability the teen needs without involving the parents.
Additionally, a coach can keep the parent in the loop with regular email summaries of their teen’s coaching sessions. Finally, the academic coaches can work with the parents and the student to create a more positive environment for discussing academics.
10. Provide Content-Related Assistance
Although academic coaches focus on non-content-related needs, they can provide tutoring support when needed. Academic coaches focus on finding systemic solutions rather than providing quick content fixes like tutors. However, academic coaches recognize the importance of specific tests and assessments and can provide the support your child needs in the short run while focusing on long-term solutions.
If you think an academic coach is the kind of support your teen needs, let’s talk. I have worked with hundreds of students to achieve success similar to Helene’s, and your child could be one of them.
I have curated a program to end the late-work cycle in one quarter. But it is not one-size-fits-all. Book a free discovery call to find out how I can best meet your teen’s specific needs.
About the Author: John Hyde
I am an educational coach specializing in teaching students academic fundamentals and a growth mindset.
After graduating from Duke University in 2015, I taught at a public middle school from 2016 to 2019. Although I loved working with students in the classroom, the public education system was not teaching students the skills essential to academic success.
I left the classroom in 2019 to start Academic Empowerment Academy. Since then, my coaching program has helped hundreds of students realize their academic potential by assisting them in building confidence and empowering them with the skills and mindset to meet their goals in school and life.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help your teen be more motivated, foster good habits, and improve academic organization/performance, Book a Complimentary Discovery Call Here.
Hi I’m John, author of this blog, academic coach, and founder of AE Academy.
I help teens reach their academic potential by empowering them with academic fundamentals, a growth mindset, and critical thinking.
If your teen is struggling to reach their academic potential, or isn’t learning the skills they need to succeed in school, we should connect.
It’s on me – Book Your Free Call Here