Episode 12: The Tragedy of the A- with Tracy Woodham

High school English teacher Tracy Woodham joins me from California to talk about the “Tragedy of the A-” and how to coach students through challenging situations. We discuss what it’s like to teach in a highly competitive environment and how to nurture intrinsic motivation and problem solving skills in students that just want to get their A and move on to the next thing.

Takeaways from this week’s episode: 1) Show value for students’ mental and emotional well-being. 2) One way to do this is through having soft deadlines – or deadline windows – so that students can learn to manage their own time effectively. 3) Moving quickly through content can prevent students from having the time and space to have original, creative thoughts. 4) When a student needs to talk, sometimes they don’t need our input. They just need someone to hear them process while they work out problems on their own. 5) Showing interest in students’ successes outside of our own classrooms can go a long way toward developing positive, trusting relationships with students.

How Children Succeed by Paul Tough (2013)