Ms. Elizabeth McCready Professional Tutor & Academic Coach

IS YOUR CHILD FALLING BEHIND IN SCHOOL?

IS ACADEMIC STRESS AND ANXIETY AFFECTING YOUR CHILD'S MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH, AND FAMILY LIFE?

With the grades required for post-secondary admissions increasing, more and more students are becoming overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious about their school work and grades. The accumulated stress, loss of sleep, and disorganized work not only affects teens grades, but also their health.

Since January 2001, when she worked for the Lakehead District School Board, Ms. McCready has been helping students learn to study, organize their school work, and manage their academic workload and extracurricular commitments. She uses a wholistic approach based on current cognitive neuroscience - one that not only benefits students' academic success, but also improves their mental and physical health.

Academic Coaching for Study, Organization, Time Management, and Research & Writing Skills

The skills that are essential to academic success - such as effective study, organization, and time management skills - are rarely, if ever taught in the classroom. Many students have trouble picking these up on their own. The result is bright students with poor or failing grades, family arguments and stress, anxiety, and lowering self-esteem.

Academic coaching is a working partnership that focuses on "the process of learning". Students learn about their learning styles, work habits, their current barriers to success, and effective tools and strategies that work best for them. Academic coaching helps students become more independent in their learning. It develops study and organizational skills, and improves executive functioning. As health and wellness are an essential part of academic success, assisting students in their health and wellness (sleep habits, exercise, mindfullness/yoga, eating habits and schedule,) and refering them to appropriate services and professionals (personal trainer, nutritionist, counselling, ...) is a vital part of academic coaching.

STUDENTS WITH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND PANIC ATTACKS

An increasing number of teens and tweens are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, and psychological distress in alarming numbers. In the latest results from large scale, 20 year study of Ontario teens and tweens, "One-third of the students in the survey were found to have moderate to severe symptoms of psychological distress – an alarming leap from two years earlier, when only one-quarter of students met the same threshold.".*

When a person's "flight or fight" response is triggered from anxiety, their brains are not ready to learn. Students with anxiety and psychological distress often avoid doing work (flight) or act out (fight), suffer from sleep deprivation and "brain fog" from lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Frequently, the situation spirals out of control, with formally bright successful students, failing and becoming ill.

Ms. McCready, with her 16 years of supporting students with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression (as well as overcoming panic disorder herself 11 years ago) understands and emphasizes with these students. She patiently, kindly, and consistently supports them and their families in dealing with these challenges in their school work, and role models effective strategies in her own life.

"Some days - such as those where a student has had a panic attack - the planned activity for that session may not be possible. But it's still possible to get productive work done. We all have bad days. Learning how to make the best of them, and turn a negative situation into a positive is a habit and skill that students can use for the rest of their life. For example, instead of sitting down in a library and doing a practice science test, Ms. McCready has done an outside walk and talk with cue cards. The same curriculum expectations are covered, just in different way - and students get some exercise and stress relief.

GIFTED STUDENTS WITH POOR GRADES?

Gifted students are frequently bored in school - especially when the pace is too slow, or the requirements don't match their interests. Often when these students don't see the relevance of assignments they either fail to do them, or do them poorly at the last minute. Gifted students who were able to coast through elementary and middle school, often find their grades dropping in high school where study and time management skills become increasingly important. The effects of incomplete work, leaving assignments and studying until the last minute, and day dreaming (or even sleeping in class), accumulate - especially in advanced programs like IB, AP, and Enriched/Gifted courses.

Ms. McCready meets the needs of gifted students with poor or decreasing school performance by teaching them study, time management, and organization skills, as well as providing appropriate and engaging enrichment to help students enjoy school and stay on task again. She also enjoys working with classroom and resource teachers so her students' academic support has a team approach.

STUDENT ATHLETES

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DANCERS: PRE-PROFESSIONAL, COMPETITIVE, & RAD EXAM CANDIDATES

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BOYS WITH ADHD ('ADD')

GIRLS WITH ADHD ('ADD')

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Elizabeth McCready
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