The snag-free guide to sticky school sitches

The Sitch

The assignment: Recite Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” speech from memory. Piece of cake—you know it cold! It’s your turn, and the nervous butterflies have started an all-out war in your belly. You flub a line, and guys in the back of the room are holding up their fingers, counting your “ums.” You freeze, you forget, you flunk.

The Solution

It’s one thing to get a bad grade, privately, on that pop quiz last Friday. It’s quite another to fail in front of the entire class. But the reality is, public speaking isn’t for everybody. For some, it takes lots of practice and, chances are, your English teacher knows that. See her after school to find out if there is anything you can do to up your grade.

Will she let you redo it, just for her, for partial credit? Can you have a second shot in front of the class? Or maybe there are extra-credit options, like an analysis of Hamlet’s fatal flaw. Bottom line? When your work doesn’t meet expectations, see what you can do about it. It’s worth tryin’.

The Sitch

Quizzes, papers and projects..oh, my! You’re overwhelmed—and over-tired. drift off to sleep during Mr. Garrett’s Louisiana Purchase lecture (yawn). When Mr. G calls on you to answer a question, you’re too zonked to hear him. He taps your shoulder: “See me after class.” Gulp!

The Solution

Even if Teach is a big ol’ snore, you need to serve up an apology. Take full responsibility for dozing off, then listen attentively as he rants about the importance of paying attention in class.

Once he’s done, calmly explain that you’ve been having trouble balancing the demands of the new school year—and ask if he has any advice. Teachers like that. Bonus: You might actually gain some good pointers. Ya snooze, ya lose!


by Mandy Forr | 2/1/2016