You are an “A” student who sometimes makes grades other than “A”s.

Education is the perfect place to build self-esteem – that feeling you have when you are your own best friend whether you succeed or not. Setting the right kind of challenge is the most important step. Too low? Not very exciting. Too high? Exhausting. Too far from now? Easy to lose interest. A good challenge is an exciting adventure.

✓ Based on your past achievements, you believe that the next one is possible.

✓ You possess resources now that you might not have had in the past that make it possible for you to reach your goals.

✓ This challenge is one step above what you know you can reach.

Congratulations! You have the right challenge.

Are you the right person for the challenge, though?

No student registers without believing that he or she can do it. All students have a history of learning that gives them (sometimes just) enough confidence that the next step is achievable. All students are connected to equipment, tools, instructors, tutors, and some have mentors, family support, work flexibility, or financial backing. All students enrolled in a new academic track passed the previous grade.

So who are the “A” students’?

Before even starting a class, an assignment, or a test, “A” students believe that they can make an “A.” When “A” students open their books, they believe that they will comprehend, organize, and retain the information. When “A” students come to class, they know that they deserve answers to their questions. When “A” students do not receive an “A” for a test, it does not prevent them from believing that they can make an “A” next time. And when they do get an “A,” they are not surprised. They are not detached either. They confirmed their belief that they can and they are proud to have met their goal.

We are all “A” students. It may take resizing our challenges or changing our own belief about ourselves.

Welcome back to school!

Christine Leclerc-Sherling

Psychology and Public Speaking Instructor

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