Academic Coaching Core Principles
Peak Performance Education is an in-home Academic Coaching company that specializes in helping students improve their overall academic performance by coaching them in the development of academic and non-academic skill sets that will empower them to succeed in all areas of their academic careers.
Give your child a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive world through programs offered at Peak Performance Education. At PPE, we adhere to the implementation of seven core foundational principles for building academically based success habits. Properly implementing the following foundational principles leads students to increased academic performance in and outside of the classroom.
The mastery of no one principle produces high levels of academic success. It is the combination of all seven foundational principles working together that leads to the transformational success of our students.
Our students enter into an environment of complete transparency and accountability. The students are accountable to their coaches, parents, and most importantly to themselves. This system of accountability helps to create a team environment where everyone is working toward the same goal. Academic progress is tracked and monitored on a weekly/biweekly basis.
Goal setting is incredibly important for young students. It helps them to stay on track, and serves as a constant reminder of what they are trying to accomplish.
Long-term goals help students to develop an understanding of the “bigger picture.”
What do I plan to do after high school?
- Do I want to go to college?
- If so, what GPA do I need in order to get in? What do I have to make on the SAT/ACT?
- What type of degree am I interested in?
- Will my desired future occupation require a Master’s Degree?
- What are the requirements for being accepted into graduate school?
We understand that most adolescents haven’t put much thought into questions such as these. We were young once, too; however, we encourage our students to prepare as far ahead into the future as possible. This helps our students gain a true perspective of what it requires to be successful in school and in life. Once our students gain a clearer picture of THEIR futures in the long term, it becomes easier for them to set relatable and realistic short-term goals.
Short-term goals help create a step-by-step process to follow in order to attain long-term goals. Students must determine what grades they are striving to achieve for the current or upcoming semester, while also understanding how their short-term goals relate to accomplishing their long-term goals. Students go through specific processes to determine, plan, and accomplish their short and ultimately long-term goals.
Three basic factors can have a significant impact on students’ attitude improvement toward school (clarity & relevance, character development, and the success cycle).
Clarity & Relevance:
We feel that it is important for students to obtain clear perspectives of how academic performance and habit development at the elementary, middle, and high school levels can directly impact their access to future college and career opportunities. Academic success achieved between the ages of five and twenty five (twenty years) can determine the quality of life one enjoys for the next sixty plus years of adult life. Ongoing mentorship from coaches, while progressing through the goal setting process, should gradually help students gain clearer perspectives of their potential academic futures. This perspective will aid in the guidance of future academic decisions.
Academic Character Development:
Academic character is the sum of an individual’s academic habits (who he or she is as a student). Strong academic character is built by the continuous implementation of a specific formula. Many of the most respected teachers in the field of human potential have used this formula as a foundation for their teachings. The formula is called the process of manifestation. In this process, thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions, actions lead to habits, habits create our character, and character determines the results of our lives.
(Thoughts ⇨ Feelings ⇨ Actions ⇨ Habits ⇨ Character ⇨ Results)
Strong academic character is a key foundation of successful students. No matter the level of academic character students possess, it can be increased by the implementation of the PPE academic coaching system. As coaches, we work toward transforming our students’ academic thought processes and helping them understand why a quality education is imperative to long-term success in life. We encourage, uplift and, motivate our students to build the feelings of confidence, clarity, and purpose. Building these feelings in our students leads to higher levels of academic action. Coaches provide and implement the fundamental skills which drive these positive actions. Consistent high quality academic actions taken over an extended period time create strong academic habits. Strong academic habits form strong academic character. Strong academic character produces strong academic results. Results show in the form of higher test, quiz, project, class work, and homework scores as well as an improved work ethic and attitude toward school. The overall goal and objective of PPE is for our students to become confident, focused, hardworking, and independent students.
The goal of our academic coaching program is to help students of all levels reach their full academic potential. Through the guidance of academic coaches, our students are guided along an upward trajectory of the success cycle. As students achieve higher levels of academic success, they become motivated by more favorable attitudes toward school. Students in positive states of mind are willing to take increased levels of academic action and are more open to learning new strategies which create ongoing success. As new academic skills and habits are reinforced, correlating levels of academic performances and results are produced. Through a circular process, the improved results increase student belief, attitude, actions, habits, and character, thus continuing the upward success cycle.
Success is the fuel and energy that keeps the cycle moving in a positive direction. People can be compared to a rubber band; once a rubber band is stretched to a certain point, it can never go back to its original state. As students are taken to new levels of success for extended periods of time, self expectations are increased, thus creating new comfort zones. Students do not usually resort back to old levels of performance because high achievement has become the new norm and baseline for their lives. These students now expect higher levels of success from themselves.
Learning to manage one’s time is extremely important to having success in school and in future endeavors. As students progress through the educational system, the work load and difficulty of the curriculum continues to increase. If students do not learn how to effectively manage their time, their school performance can be significantly impacted. Students who lack effective time management skills often show a decrease in confidence, have higher levels of frustration, and feel increasingly overwhelmed as they progress through their school careers. Any of these factors can lead students to avoid studying or doing school work all together as avoiding school temporarily relieves their stress. This often puts the student in a perpetual cycle of procrastination. Students eventually realize that they do not want to fail or be ejected from school, so they study, but at the last minute. Cramming generally leads to low performance which perpetuates their lack of confidence, frustration, and stress. By implementing time management skills (calendar planning and effective organizational systems), and holding themselves accountable to this on a weekly basis, students increase their clarity and confidence leading to better academic results.
Strategic Study Skills are strategies and repetitive actions that students use to move information from short-term memory to the long-term memory. There is no magic trick for learning information. It requires a certain level of repetition and rehearsal of information, no matter what strategy is used or learning style is involved.
Steps for becoming a successful studier are:
Planning and managing one’s time – An abundance of information cannot be learned over a short period of time. It requires an extended period of time dedicated to properly planned study sessions in order to be successfully retained. Therefore, the time must be planned out. Here is our strategy:
Identifying top priorities – (tests, quizzes, major assignments, etc.)
Gathering and organizing applicable information – (books, notes, vocabulary lists, etc.)
Developing study strategies – (self-created tests/quizzes, note cards, visuals, etc.)
After the students top priorities are accounted for, and the applicable information is gathered, proper study strategies are then selected and developed based on the individual needs of the student. The sessions are specifically planned, so that the student has a complete understanding as to what will be done and studied each day. The glue to the plan being executed is the accountability the coaches and parents provide.
We can equate developing work ethic to the strengthening of a muscle. A muscle increases in strength only when it is used. The amount and duration of force placed on the muscle determines its strength and endurance. Work ethic is not innate; it is learned. Our academic coaches guide students in the development of work ethic by providing intense study sessions and helping them to create an action plan. Coaches and parents hold their students accountable to ensure this plan is executed on a week-to-week basis. Once developed, a strong work ethic can eventually make studying, considered by many students to be a daunting and overwhelming task, manageable and second nature to them.
The overall goal of PEAK PERFORMANCE EDUCATION’S academic coaching program is to guide our students to a point where they become independent of their coaches. From the beginning of the coaching process, it is made clear that students are to take ownership of their academic responsibilities and work toward independence. In order to get to this point, it takes time and consistent action from all team members (students, coaches, and parents). Our students must go through a process of academic change before they are ready to move to levels of complete independence.
PROCESS OF CHANGE
Awareness ⇨ Understanding ⇨ Reconditioning = Long-Term Change and Habit Development
Three of the most dangerous words in the English language are, “I KNOW THAT”. This phrase is often used and is seldom accurate. If people know something, they live it. It is a physical result in their lives. If students say that they study and work hard, yet their actions and results do not reflect that, they are fooling themselves. If they know what they say they know, they would be reaching their full academic potentials. There would be correlating physical results in their lives. Many students stall out somewhere within the process of change.
Awareness: The first stage of the process of change is awareness. Most students are aware of the fact that studying and working hard are instrumental in achieving academic success. Awareness does not necessarily lead to action. Independently, some students do not grow beyond the awareness stage of the process of change.
Understanding: The second stage of the process of change is understanding. Students who reach this stage are aware that they need to study, but do not take consistent action toward the study process. Inconsistent actions lead to inconsistent results. Students may take study skills classes and learn about different study strategies, but they do not consistently apply these strategies; therefore, no true academic success habits are developed. Independently, some students do not grow beyond the understanding stage of the process of change.
Reconditioning: The third stage of the process of change is reconditioning. Within this stage, students not only have to learn and apply new skills, they also must unlearn non-supportive ways of thinking and erase poor academic habits. The reconditioning process usually takes an extended period of time as it is the longest, most intense, and most difficult of the three stages. Students that complete this stage gain strong academic foundations which propel them toward reaching their full academic potential.
The Coaching Process: To successfully complete the process of academic change, many students require support, guidance, and accountability. PPE’s academic coaches specialize in guiding our students through this academic change by making them aware of new skills and ways of thinking toward school. Our coaches help the students understand the technical skills that need to be developed and why these skills are important to the students’ academic success. Finally and most importantly, our coaches guide their students through the most challenging stage of change, reconditioning. Our coaches hold their students accountable and encourage consistent actions over an extended period of time; therefore, these new skills, techniques, and ways of thinking take root and eventually become automatic. By guiding our students through the process of change (awareness, understanding, and reconditioning), we set them on a course to become independent, successful students for the duration of their academic careers.