Becoming a Successful Student: Creating a Backup Plan I-BEST by Maureen Stewart M.Ed Do you make too many excuses? How many times in the last month (week, day) have you heard yourself say one or more of these things? I couldn’t turn in my homework this morning because… I couldn’t come to class yesterday because… I didn’t do the reading because… I was late today because… If you have said one these phrases more than once or twice in the last quarter- then you may make too many excuses. Do you make too many excuses? Consider the students below: Student A: Always comes to class on time, turns in all assignments and asks questions when she doesn’t understand something. Student B: Sometimes is absent or late to class, is missing a couple of assignments, and rarely asks questions to the teacher. Both students missed class today because their car broke down. Which student do you think the teacher will be more forgiving toward? Why do you think this? Do you make too many excuses? Genuine emergencies do happen, but a student who shows professionalism and responsibility in the classroom will be in a better position to negotiate than a student who has not demonstrated these skills. Creating a backup plan! On your worksheet: All college students have to find a balance between school responsibilities and the responsibilities of a family, a job (or maybe 2 jobs!), and limited income. Sometimes problems can happen while trying to keep this balance. The difference between a successful student and an unsuccessful student is that the successful student has a plan for dealing with problems when they arise. Planning in advance can save you from a lot of stress. Creating a backup plan! On your worksheet: On your worksheet are several situations (scenarios) that may happen during your time as a student. With your group, discuss a plan for each scenario that describes how you will avoid being absent or late from class or turning in assignments late. There is no one correct answer. There are many ways to solve each of these problems. Think of as many as you can, and write the ideas on your paper. Creating a backup plan! On your worksheet: 1. You child’s school calls and says your daughter is sick and needs to be picked up. You don’t want to miss class, what can you do now? How can you prepare just in case this happens again in the future. 2. You have a car that breaks down (stops working) on your way to class. You don’t want to miss class, what can you do now? How can you prepare just in case this happens again in the future. 3. Your computer and/or printer stops working the night before your assignment is due. You don’t want to turn your assignment in late, what can you do now? How can you prepare just in case this happens again in the future. Solutions: How did you solve these problems?