Which package should I choose?

Short answer: Full Speed Ahead.

Test the Waters is generally for summer coaching, to learn the Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying. It can also be selected if the student or parents are feeling hesitant about coaching.

Smooth Sailing is recommended for continuing students who are nearly finished with coaching and already have great habits, routines, and tools in place, but want to continue solidifying everything and ensure that they have another strong semester.

What is your success rate with students?

These days it’s 100%. Earlier on in my coaching career, my success rate was a bit below that. I’ve learned a lot of important lessons over the years and know what to look for when I meet with students for the first time, before our coaching even begins.

I currently only take on students who are interested in succeeding in school. As long as that’s the case, coaching with me will be successful. If a student is only somewhat interested in academic success, then we’ll discuss it.

What happens during a coaching session?

There is no short answer to this question! Here are a number of common examples. We share a Google Sheet for our coaching and that contains details for most of the items below. I never lecture my students or tell them what to do, but I do encourage them, make suggestions, and ask lots of questions!

  • Updating the student’s to-do list, including quizzes and tests. What was completed since last session and what wasn’t? Is the student making good progress? Is the student studying in an effective way, well in advance of the upcoming quizzes/tests? Any important grades come back since our last session? If they’re particularly high or low, we’ll talk about why! What can we get dialed in now?
  • Commitments: Did the student follow through on the commitments they made last session? What new commitments are they willing to make? Another way to ask that question is, “What would make the next few days a WIN for you?”
  • Tracking the student’s habits. Once per week, we go through the list of habits on our “habits tracker” and the student gives themselves a score out of 10 points for each habit. If scores are particularly high or low, we might talk about why! New habits (that the student is totally on board with) are gradually added to the list as our coaching progresses.
  • Tracking the student’s grades. Once per week, the student adds their grades to a new column on their “grades tracker”. When grades go up or down, we’ll talk about why!
  • Any victories or setbacks since our last session?
  • Is anything particularly difficult or stressful right now? What can we potentially do about that?
  • What is the student’s schoolwork/studying environment like? Where are they, what are they listening to, and what distractions are around? How can we potentially optimize this?
  • What is the student’s after-school routine? When do they get home from school or extracurriculurs? How soon after they get home are they starting on their schoolwork/studying? Are they getting to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep? What might lead to some improvements in this area?
  • Is the student utilizing their “team” in a strong way? Teachers, tutors, counselors, advisors, therapists, parents, and their academic coach are all members of their team and can make a huge impact on a student’s success and well-being.
  • How’s it going during class? Is the student focused? Taking notes in an effective way? Participating?
  • Is the student using something like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar consistently and effectively? Are they able to make it to our coaching sessions and their other appointments without reminders from there parents?
  • … and much, much, much more.

How is the pricing of partial semesters calculated?

I try to keep this as simple as possible. There is always calculation involved when dealing with coaching for less than a full semester. I keep everything as perfectly prorated as I can. I will always do the calculation myself before we begin coaching, so it’s not totally necessary for you to do the math yourself, but here is how it works:

My “Full Speed Ahead” and “Smooth Sailing” include coaching for a full semester. The number of weeks varies by school, of course. It’s usually 16-19 weeks.

If the student is on a quarter or trimester system, and we do a full quarter/trimester of coaching, then that will cost a fraction of the semester price. Number of weeks of the quarter/trimester, divided by 17.5. (17.5 weeks is an “average” semester)

If we begin coaching after the quarter/trimester/semester has already started, I’ll do some calculations and the price is usually:

the number of weeks of coaching

divided by

the number of weeks in the semester (or 17.5 if the student is on a quarter or trimester system)

An example:

A student begins coaching with me in early March and we’ll have 12 weeks of coaching together. The parents opt for the lump sum option to save money. The Spring semester at this school is 18 weeks. 8/12 x $3,900 = $2,600.

If we start quite late into the quarter/trimester/semester and have less than 9 weeks of coaching, then the price is not perfectly prorated, as there is additional work involved at the start and end of coaching. This price will now be based on the 5 week “test the waters” package and prorated based on that. 8 weeks of coaching is 8/5 x $1,250 = 2,000.

Do you discuss non-academic topics?

Yes! A student’s academic performance is impacted by their physical well-being, mental well-being, social life, sleep schedule, screentime habits, and more. These things are simply important, too! Some of my students are comfortable opening up to me about personal matters and I’m totally willing to listen, and provide encouragement when it’s appropriate.

Is this the same as executive function coaching?

Not exactly, but there is a lot of overlap!

The frontal lobe of the brain is where our executive functions reside. The frontal lobe is generally fully developed for neurotypical folks between the ages of 25 and 30. It’s even higher for those of us with ADHD.

Students in high school and college need these executive functions to succeed, even while their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed. So, what do we do? We utilize tools, routines, strategies, and habits. Consistency and accountability are key! Academic coaching and executive function coaching are both meant to address this, but with academic coaching, the primary purpose is academic success.