Poor Academic Performance Can Beat You Down

What happens to us as children stays with us the rest of our lives. When you can't succeed in the area that children spend most of their lives, in school, you carry with you the shadow of not succeeding. Many people think they aren't smart. Maybe so. There are two other causes of poor academic performance which have nothing to do with motivation or how long you study.


  1. School limits your modes of learning. When you're in school you either listen to the teacher (at least you're told to) or you read something or look at pictures. This method incorporates two modes of learning, auditory and visual. If you teacher only talks to you, then you need to listen. If they required you to read, it's only visual.My sister discovered the difference with her son whose grades in English went between failing and excellent. After some discussion she discovered his best grades on books were when the teacher read things in class. The worst grades were when he read them. Books on tape to the rescue. (Yep, tapes were what we had then.)I remember when I was in school the teacher was upset when students read aloud when all of us were supposed to be reading. As I look back, it was the average to below average students who got in trouble for it. Would they have done better if allowed to read aloud? Probably. My guess is they were auditory learners.Consider how little ones learn. When a new baby begins crawling, parents "child-proof" the house. They cover the plugs, get breakables out of the way and keep small objects out of a child's mouth.Why? Because little ones explore their world by using all their senses. They touch it, taste it, smell it, shake it to hear any changes, and look at it from all angles. They use all their senses.If you only use one or two senses, you learn much less.Consider the flower on the right. It's a fascinating looking flower. Not one we're used to seeing. You may notice it's large compared to the plants around it. What you don't know by looking at the photo is that, when it's blooming, its aroma is horrible, like something dead, and you can smell it a block away.
  2. Your brain works differently. Several years ago I was attracted to The Woman Who Changed Her Brain in the library. I fell in love with it and purchased my own copy. (You can get it from Amazon by clicking the image.)

She had severe learning disabilities AND a photographic memory. She was able to get into graduate school even though she didn't understand much of what she was learning. Barbara Arrowsmith Young put some information together and discovered she could overcome her learning disabilities by developing exercises, with a little help from her friends and family, to exercise part of the brain needing to be strengthened.

When you flip to the back of the book, you can read a list of what she considers issues with the brain which her program can improve. The list is amazing. All of these challenges she can address with specific exercises.

If your brain works differently, or doesn't work well in certain areas, you probably felt stupid and frustrated. This, of course, affects your self image.

You have undiscovered gifts. They just weren't the ones the teachers were measuring.

You may be a whiz at video games but the skills needed to be great at that are not the ones that you need to excel in math, reading and history. Know that you have abilities not measured at school. Find those abilities. There are specific aptitude tests which can assist you in finding your gifts and talents.

Know that not doing well in school does not determine who you are. Yes, school can have an impact upon what you learn and, to some extent, upon what you do. School does not, however determine who you are. You have full control over who you are. You determine your values, how you treat yourself and how you treat others.


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