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"Get"-ting Our Students

Do you remember what it felt like when a teacher really "got” you? What I mean by that is do you remember a teacher who knew your strengths and your weak­nesses and encouraged you to aim higher in both?

I sure do. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Bragg, was one. My 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Vandevelder, was one, and my graduate school professor, Chris Thaiss, was one. They “got” me, and the "me" that they “got” was someone they liked. I liked that version of me too, and because of the way they saw me and responded to me, I thrived in their classrooms.

In grade school, I always pictured one of my teachers who didn’t “get” me talking to one of my teachers who did “get” me. As a kid, I believed that everyone I knew had nothing better to do than to talk about me. Perhaps that is a common thought among children. 

Back to my picture. I’d picture my math teacher talking to Mrs. Bragg, and this is how the conversation would go: 

Math Teacher: Katy is so quiet in my class. She seems more interested in simply passing the class than she is about learning math.

Mrs. Bragg: Katy Ridnouer? Are you sure we're talking about the same student? That’s so interesting. She’s so engaged in my class. She leads discussions and is driven to earn an A.. 

I imagined that the conversation would continue with them marveling at the differences in the Katy’s that show up in their classroom. Oh I have a vivid imagination! 

What if we changed the conversation so that it occurred between the teacher and the student, and what if both of them were equipped with a tool to help them understand the student? The Maxwell Student Success Report will equip you with all of this and more. Keep reading to find out how you can get this report for your students. 

Would it be helpful for teachers to know how to talk to those dominant students in a way that got them excited about the material and leading discussions that pushed critical thinking? 

What if teachers knew how to motivate the inspired students to love the subject being taught and apply it to their lives? 

What if the cautious kid was given safe space in the class and pushed bit-by-bit to demonstrate skills? 

What if the supportive kid was recognized for being a good team member and saw that he had unique skills too? 

If I look at myself as a case study, I only received A’s in the classes where I felt seen and understood. I never got into trouble, and I never missed class. The same cannot be said for the classes where I skated by with a B or a C. 

I am just one person, but what if you most of your students felt seen and heard? Achievement rates would go up and so would graduation rates. Discipline rates would go down. 

If students are happy, guess who else is happy--teachers and parents. They’ll spend less time on problems and more time on instruction and projects that engage students. 

When students don't feel under­stood, they begin collecting FEARs. By FEAR, I mean the acronym Fake Evidence Appearing Real.

When I was struggling in math throughout my childhood, my C’s and D’s on quizzes were all the evidence I needed to prove to myself that I would never be good at math. I didn’t consider the facts that I avoided my math book like the plague and barely paid attention in math class. The C’s and D’s were the fake evidence that appeared as real evidence of my inability to do math, and I believed it for a very long time. I did well enough to complete all my high school and college coursework, but it was always the sore spot in my schedule. 

It wasn’t until I was well into my teaching career, that I decided that I was going to take math head-on. I bought an Algebra workbook, and I spent night after night working through the problems until I completed the entire workbook. My CPA husband thought I was wasting my time. As I worked through each page, I realized that I had been wrong all along. I can understand math. It just takes practice. I will never be a whiz at quadratic equations, but I know what one is, and I have real evidence to prove it--my math workbook!

You see. It’s so much easier to wear the moniker “Dummy” than it is to face fears. In fact, kids will do anything to not be found out. They will misbehave, lie, and cheat to not be found out.

Remember my imagined conversation between my math and English teachers? My math teacher described me as quiet. If you know me, that is not a description that fits me. No way. No how. Unless I was in math class where I deemed myself a failure. Where did the "real" me show up? In English class. 

What if your teachers, school counselor, and students’ parents had a tool to “get” their students and encourage the "real" students to show up? 

As a certified coach through the John Maxwell team, I have access to the new Maxwell Student Success Report, a new report that is full of great insight into understanding students’ personality styles, strengths, growth areas, and how to help them connect more in the classroom.

Key learning outcomes are:

  1. Find out which of the four primary personality styles students have the most energy in. (i.e., special gifts, talents and personality that make students amazing.)
  2. Discover how a student’s personality shows up with other people, which is helpful at home and school.
  3. Unveil how a student may act in school to help students find new ways to enjoy school.
  4. Teach students how to grow into the best version of THEMSELVES by enhancing their strengths, skills, and talents.
  5. Target key motivators that get a student to act.
  6. Isolate great strengths, talents, and gifts to help students target their strength zone. 
  7. FOR TEACHERS & PARENTS: Special sections that help you better connect with your student with a tailored roadmap for your student’s path to success.

FREE GIFT ALERT: Reach out, and I’ll gift one Student Success Report to your school. 

Imagine if teachers had this report for each one of their students. What if your guidance counselor was trained to debrief with those students who seem to always need extra support? What if every parent was equipped with this tool? Your school would focus more on each child and on helping them achieve their goals. The big payoff will be for the entire school, for as Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Let’s talk about implementing Student Success Reports at your school. Schedule a time to talk by clicking here: Schedule a Call with Katy!

Buy a Student Success Report right now here: Buy Student Success Report 

Want to preview a sample success report? Check it out here: Sample Student Success Report 

Let’s get the tool that will help you, your team, and your families “get” your students.


This blog was written by Katy Ridnouer, Author, Grant Writer, Trainer, and Coach with Leaders Building Leaders. If you found this content valuable, please share it.

If you need a difference maker to partner with you at your school, then reach out at [email protected] or schedule a time  for a complimentary discovery session. You create the agenda; you bring the challenges. Let Katy be your thought partner. 


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