Q&A with Samantha Mchammel

Q: What do you think is the single most important tool you use with kids who are receiving D's and F's?

A: The single most important tool I use with students who are receiving D’s and F’s would have to be Executive Functioning. This tool includes organization skills and priority setting. I find that most students who are receiving poor grades find it difficult to remain organized and stay on task. Planning their work week ahead of time makes the battle of getting tasks completed much easier.

Q: How do you set goals with your students, particularly ones in crisis?

A: Goal setting is not an easy skill to master in a very short amount of time. It takes trial and error to find the right fit; one that the student responds well to. I have them set general, realistic goals at first and when we show that the goals can be achieved, we work towards bigger goals or something that may be a bit more challenging.

Q: How do you check in on those goals?

A: I take a few minutes out of each of our sessions to review the goals with my students and check in with their overall well-being: academic, emotional, mental. We take a few minutes to see what’s working and what isn’t and how we can get on track to reaching our goals.

Q: Candice (the founder) is a big fan of both short term and long term goals. What are some examples of the goals your students are setting?

A: My students are setting goals not only for their academic life but for life in general. Some students are working towards better grades. Some students are working towards better organization skills. The goal which I encourage the most is the positivity and self-confidence goal. If you believe you can do it, you can do it! You just have to put your mind to it!

Q: How many students do you have using the TLM planner?

A: I currently have 2 students using the TLM planner.

Q: How are they responding to it?

A: They both started with me with very little knowledge on Executive Functioning and study skills. We are now striving to turn in every assignment and are working towards getting ahead in our subject goals. One student explained to me that “it feels good to be ahead. I’m not stressing to catch up on my work and even have time to do the stuff I like.”