Tests? Bring 'em On! Academic Summer Camp Makes Test-Taking Easy

by Jim Hartley - Date: 2008-06-03 - Word Count: 626 Share This!

What comes up for you when you hear the word "test"? I'll never make it. I'm going to fail. I need to go to the nurse. These are typical responses we hear from students.

Over the years, young people develop certain attitudes about school. Their attitudes are made up not just of the actual experiences but also of everything they've thought about these experiences. Events they might have perceived as being unpleasant, like tests, get reinforced as negatives because they fall into the habit of thinking of them in negative terms.

The human brain listens to what it's being told and forms itself accordingly. Every time we relive an unpleasant experience or think a negative thought, we're strengthening the neural connections that lead to the "tests¨Care¨Cawful" conclusion. But what if a teen decides to replace that connection with a different one? One that says, "Tests are cool. I'm totally into them. I love the challenge."

When teens are exploring their attitudes about school, we tell them whenever somebody says the word "test" they can yell, "C'mon! Gimme that test!" It's fun - and it also changes the way they think about tests. By transforming their attitudes from "oh no, not a test" to "bring it on!" they're rewiring their brains to welcome academic challenges instead of fearing them. Instead of being the passive victims of tests, they own the whole testing experience!

One time a school superintendent was visiting one of our programs. She was talking to one of the facilitators and casually mentioned the word "test" in conversation. She jumped when a dozen campers standing nearby shouted in unison, "Gimme that test!"

The Ownership key is where we come from when we talk academics. It's easy for young people to slip into a passive role: "The teacher teaches; I just sit here and absorb." By the time they hit their teen years, a lot of kids have switched to autopilot in school. The stuff they're learning is inert because they're barely interacting with it.

But something exciting happens when people reclaim ownership of their education. They rediscover the fun and challenge of learning. They become the captains of their own experience instead of being benchwarmers. Now they can direct where their education goes - and how far.

Taking ownership of their education means no more excuses, never playing the blame game again: "She made me do it." "He's not a good teacher." "My study partner's not good at math." "This school's lame." Ownership is about taking 100% responsibility for everything that we do and where we are in life. Period.

When young people take back the responsibility for their academic performance, their energy levels automatically go up. You can see pride of ownership in a person's eyes and read it in their posture. Just taking ownership gets them more engaged, more enthusiastic, more awake and more alert.

Program grad David Evans told us how the Ownership key helped him revive a sagging GPA: "I totally got how I could take command and harness my capabilities. The following school year I was sitting next to my friend in honors chemistry. We used to sit in class and we would spend most of the time cracking jokes and making fun of the teacher. I suddenly realized that my old behaviors wouldn't fit into my new beliefs. I wanted to pay attention in class. I told my friend, and it really caught him off guard, but that didn't stop me. From that moment on, there was no looking back for me."

One of the signs campers read on our walls says, "I Am Responsible for What I Create." Once they realize they're in charge, they're on their way to greatness. When they couple ownership with a can-do attitude and some nuts-and-bolts learning skills, they're an unstoppable express train to success!

Related Tags: relationships, t, summer camp, summercamp, learning skills, academic summer camp, academic camp, teen camp, academic teen camp, teen summer camp, fun camp, kids camp, super camp, supercamp, sumercamp, parent support, parent learning, teacher learning

SuperCamp is held at eight beautiful colleges across the U.S. throughout the summer. Quantum U takes place at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. More information on our programs is available at http://www.supercamp.com and http://www.quantum-u.com .We also offer a unique 3-day Parent Weekend at which parents of kids in SuperCamp gain an insight into what their children are learning in their programs. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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