2018 Inspiring Words of Wisdom

sunrise new year

For most adults January 1st, 2018 is the start of a new year. However, for most students it’s the half way point in the school year. During this time some students experience a mid term slump. No matter what it is a great time to reflect on progress thus far.As we approach the end of winter break it is a great time for students to decide how they want the rest of the year to go. What successes did you have in 2017? What do you want to accomplish in 2018?

Carl Bard’s quote is great food for thought with the start of the new year. Whether you are in the the mindset that it is a new year or mid year it is always a good time for a fresh start.  If at any time you feel like things are not going the direction you want reflect on how to create a new beginning and make things better.

Wishing you happiness and success in 2018.

mel professional photo by kateMelanie Black is an Associate Certified Academic Life Coach and mindfulness educator. She is passionate about helping others and learning all she can in the process. With ten years of experience in the field of education, she is determined to help students succeed in school and life. “ One of my goals is to continue to be a humanitarian who helps our local community. I am passionate about my relentless pursuit of knowledge and desire to help others.“

Why You Should Thank a Teacher

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Google defines a teacher as a person who teaches, especially in school and the term to teach as show or explain to someone how to do something. Therefore, a teacher is a person who teaches someone how to do something. Oh, but they are so much more than this!

“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” -Karl Menninger

Who was your favorite teacher? Was it a teacher in elementary, middle, or high school who cared when you were having a bad day.? Perhaps there was a professor in college or university that inspired and encouraged you?  What is it that they said or did that made them memorable? Was it their teaching style, the way they cared, or maybe the way they challenged you?

Through academic coaching students set goals and create action steps to achieve those goals. With every goal students must identify at least one mentor. This is someone who they will ask for help in reaching their goal and completing the action steps they made to be successful. In this process a teacher’s name always comes up. Usually, the student names more than one teacher with which they have a good relationship and want to ask for help.  I love hearing about these teachers! One of the key ingredients in the Recipe for Academic Success is communicating with teachers. They make amazing mentors!

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and today is Teacher Appreciation Day. Why should we thank a teacher? They are the individuals who are helping and inspiring students to succeed and follow their dreams.  Their positive impact on young minds is tremendous. If you are a student, think about who your favorite teacher/ professor is and tell them.  Your words will have such a positive impact on them. I know this because when I worked as a teacher, students expressed their gratitude and appreciation to me, and it meant the world to me and still does. Parents, share your past experiences with teachers or professors with your teen. If you are close to someone who is a student ask them who their favorite teacher/ professor is and why. Start a conversation and brainstorm a few ways you can show appreciation.

A big thanks to my teachers and professors from back in the day!

Lester B. Pearson High School – My accounting and photography teacher both took the time to talk to me and ask me if I was ok. It was obvious that they cared and I will ever forget that.

Florida State College at Jacksonville – Thomas Costa, you challenged me to think critically about so many things. I chose to take three classes from you because your teaching style was phenomenal. Noelle Wynne, you helped me to develop a bigger passion for learning about my family’s culture and who and where I come from.

University of North Florida – Richard Chant, your passion for education is contagious! Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. Norman Rothchild, your teaching style instilled a love for learning and a respect for Japanese culture and history.

Jefferson Davis Middle School – ALL teachers, thank you for all your support! You taught me so much about how to be a great educator and good person. You are an inspiration to me!

Melanie Black of Student Futures is an academic coach for teens and has a passion to help students succeed. Academic coaching helps students develop life skills and gives them strategies to increase self-efficacy, self-motivation, and self discipline. Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here to learn more about academic coaching and how we are helping students in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas.

Keep smiling and reach for the stars!



Victory is Yours and Here’s How to Get It

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The word, goals is used a lot. Some people cringe at the thought of setting goals because they have been forced to do it a specific way over and over again and then they have an even harder time following through and achieving those goals.  Let’s see if we can change this negative perspective and find intrinsic motivation to help us achieve what we want most.

Merriam Webster defines victory as “achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties.”

Instead of setting goals let’s attempt to strategize our victories. Yes, it will be difficult and there will be struggles along the way that you will have to deal with.  Deal with them as they come. Be fearless and keep your victories in sight.

Take these 5 simple steps to Victory:

Victory: What do you want to achieve?

Why: Why do you want this victory?

Technique: How will you achieve your victory? What steps can you take?

Mentor: Who will help you? Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Nickname: Give your victory a nickname like Super Star so you can refer to it often. It’s easier to be mindful of your victory by utilizing a nickname.


Victory is yours!

Feeling overwhelmed? No worries. Student Futures’s academic coach, Melanie Black has a passion for helping students succeed. Click here for more helpful resources. Contact Student Futures today and schedule a free academic coaching consultation and learn more about how we help teens use strategies to be victories and achieve their dreams. Student Futures serves middle school, high school, and college freshman students in Jacksonville, FL and surrounding areas.We want to help you succeed!

 Keep smiling and reach for the stars!

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