Whether you are a teacher in the classroom, a tutor, or a parent-teacher at home, your basic job is to coach your child or student toward successful learning experiences and nurture the eager, self-directed learner in your child or student.
Athletic coaches understand this principle. They coach their team members to accomplish their personal best and help them get to their next levels of accomplishment. Your role as a learning coach is much the same—advancing one step at a time as the student is ready to take it. To help you do this we offer our F.I.T.T.T. Principles.
The beginning of a new school year is a good time to take stock and review the F.I.T.T.T. Principles:
- Focus on Solutions
- Identify Goals
- Track Successes
- Take the Pressure Off
- Teach to Their Strengths (the way they learn best)
Let’s begin with Focus On Solutions.
Solution-focused kids are much more likely to feel capable in a learning situation, while blame-focused kids are often afraid and withdrawn, resistant and/or rebellious.
Solution-focus keeps attention on how a problem can be handled in the present. Blame-focus brings up the past and tries to find out who or what caused the problem and what “should be done to” the person who caused the problem.
Kids who are raised with solution-focused problem solving instead of consequences or punishment develop the ability to keep going in the face of setbacks. Athletes are well trained at solution-focused problem solving. Every roadblock to the basket, the goal, or the finish line is faced positively and energetically to keep momentum going toward the goal. The belief is always that the roadblock is surmountable.
When parents see their kids’ school problems as surmountable— that there can be a positive way to work with them—they can stop negative patterns of interaction and teach their kids how to find win–win outcomes. They also put relationships with their kids on a footing that makes working with them not only more effective, but more fun.
Continued in Part 2