Asking How to Improve

To use the old adage, no one is perfect. That’s just something we have to live with. However, by identifying our strengths and weaknesses, we can build on our skill sets, and become as close to perfect as possible. One way of doing this is by asking others’ opinions, especially those of our teachers. Today we’re going to discuss talking to your teachers about the grades you receive for assignments.

Even the greatest students don’t receive full marks 100% of the time. Even if you received an A, a 19/20 still leaves room for improvement. Many schools hand out assessment rubrics with their assignments. Although these can be helpful when producing work, they leave a lot to be desired when trying to figure out where you went wrong. On the other hand, they may be useful when talking to your teacher, so pay attention to them.

Right then, you’ve got an assignment back, with an 38/40. Not bad. But you still want to know where the extra two marks could have come from. Don’t go straight up to the teacher. Bad idea.
Not only will he be busy already, you may be feeling emotional. Cool off first. A good time to ask is at the end of the lesson, while the class is doing an activity, or watching a movie. But don’t leave it too late, or the teacher might have forgotten why she marked you that way.

Now what? Well, you ask the teacher. If you’re nervous, rehearse what you’re going to say in your head. Don’t be defensive, or offensive, for that matter. Stay calm, and make sure the teacher knows you aren’t attacking his marking style, but instead, you honestly want to know how you can improve. Be polite about it, make sure you say thank you at the end. But most of all, ask questions if you don’t fully understand what she’s saying, otherwise, the discussion will be pointless.

Great! But what do you do with this new information? First of all, you have to accept this is something to improve on. Don’t go away sulking, or insulting the teacher. Approach it with a positive attitude.

Now, you need to record this information somewhere. How about your learning journal? Or you could use a page in your notebook, specifically for this task. If your record is in the digital format, you might want to tag the post, with say the subject name, or if it could be applied to all subjects, a tag like ‘general’. A tag is just like a name tag, but more than one tag can be applied to one object. Now, you’ll be able to review these notes whenever you are handing in a new assignment. You could also look at previous assignments, to see if you made the same mistakes.

Some final tips:

  • Be calm in your approach.
  • Tell the teacher your reasons for asking.
  • Make note of the discussion.
  • Review your notes regularly.
  • Remember that there is ‘always room for improvement’
  • Be positive.

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About Katie Walker

Hey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.

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