Five ways to Recover from Failing Grades
Failing a class or receiving any bad grades can be devastating for students and parents. In fact, dealing with a failing grade is one of the most disturbing experiences and makes students question their own abilities. This self-doubt can lead to academic paralysis in future classes. It also causes parents to worry whether their child will be successful at school.
The tension between teenagers and parents over grades can easily cause quality time to become the silent treatment. However, failing grades don’t have to destroy relationships.
In this post, I consider tips which help both parents and students handle bad grades.
What Happens when a Student Starts to Fail a Class
Where does your Child Struggle?
Bad grades make students feel dumb compared to their peers. There might be jokes,but sometimes the humor is covering humiliation. Low grades give parents the impression that their kiddos are either not taking their studies seriously or the school isn’t working as promised.
Some parents even punish their children severely for coming home with poor scores.
But here’s the kicker:
Failing in a class isn’t a hopeless situation. In fact, it could be a chance for your child to overcome an obstacle. How you respond to failing grades might set the course for their rebounding skills later in life.
Low grades might just be a signal showing that your child doesn’t grasp the material in the class. Can your child self-advocate and reach out for help? Could their grades be the result of poor study habits or organizational skills? How might building these skills now, help in the future?
Parents must find the balance between swooping in and helping their child and letting them flail on their own. Remember, if you let them fix their current situation - they might not have the skills YET to thrive.
Let’s look at some ways parents can help their children when they struggle in classes.
How can Parents Handle Poor Grades?
If your child has come home with bad grades, it’s somewhat natural for you to feel angry, sad, and disappointed. Don’t ignore those feelings, but practice what we discussed with Jennifer Wisser-Stokes on School Counselor Gone Rogue - Pause. Breathe. Respond. Once you complete this process, ask yourself these questions:
Ask yourself the following questions before you do anything:
1. Could I have helped him/her understand the class better?
2. Are my standards and expectations too high?
3. Does he/she have what it takes to handle their current class?
4. How can I be a partner to my child and not the enemy
5. Is my response going to bring me closer to my child or further away? What is my end goal?
The answers to these questions will show you how to pick your child up and help them improve bad grades. It will also remind you of what you value in your relationship. How you respond will bring you closer or further away from what you value.
How can Children Rebound from Low Grades?
Find out what went wrong – The first key step to bouncing back from a failing grade is to learn from it. Why did you fail? Did you understand the theories and definitions? Did you ask for help when things seemed unclear? Did you give enough time to assignments and preparation for exams?
Look at your Study Pattern – Establish a new study plan which includes devoting extra time each day to the failed class. This way, you can improve your understanding of the lessons involved. When I work with students who are looking to rebound from lower grades, I tell them the first few weeks will be a battle, but eventually it will ease up.
Ask for Help – Many times, failure reminds us that we need other people to go higher. If you’ve had a bad grade, you should ask for help. Talk to your parents, teachers, and counselor. Academic coaches, for example, specialize in helping students discern their academic weak points and rediscover their true abilities.
Evaluate Your Performance – Don’t throw your graded works away. Keep them for future reference. Let them motivate you to be better next time. Don’t settle for average. Let one failed grade push you to achieve many high grades. Create a system that will help you use previous work to shorten the amount of time you study but increase the effectiveness.
Retake the Class (if Need Be) – If retaking a class looks like the best way to conquer that subject area, do it. The second time will be easier, as you already have residual knowledge. To do this, reach out to your school counselor to see if there are virtual or summer classes you can take. You may also be able to take classes for grade improvement to help increase your GPA.
The Bottom Line:
Even when the grades feel low, there is always a chance to make a comeback. We fall to rise. Bad grades aren’t the end of the world.
Thus, the best ways to handle a failing grade as a student is to readdress your studying style, ask for help, and don’t allow your grades to define who you are as a human being.
If you still need help with improving your grades, I am happy to schedule a parent consultation. It might be that a tutor is the best option or you might need the benefits of academic coaching.
MA Counselor ED, ACC Academic Coach
Team Pasch Academic Coaching