“I was really irritated with you last night when I saw the unchecked box.” Drew said. A sophomore in the Clinton, Connecticut school system, Drew often “forgot” to do one of his homework assignments. He was kidding about the checklist system that I had him put in place to ensure that each of his assignments were done. In the past, Drew would do his homework to the best of his memory, going through math, science, history, English, and Spanish, but often leaving one of his books in his backpack after he thought he had completed his work. Quite often that translated to one subject of homework missing.
The simple system: subjects with accompanying checklists and boxes that needed to be checked off prior to completion had placed him staring at an unchecked box. Human nature, as it is, creates the need for all but the completely irresponsible to check the box which in Drew’s case signified that he did his work. Drew was irritated because he thought he was done and was ready to play video-games but saw that he had not completed a Spanish worksheet. “I felt OCD because I wanted to just forget about it but I kept staring at the unchecked box.”
Some – perhaps many – of the techniques imparted by our Student Mastery system are not brilliant innovations but rather simple work techniques that most adults and strong students use. But not all students are naturally system oriented. Teaching and motivating students to use these techniques epitomizes how Student Mastery works.