Every student needs to know that the key to success in school boils down to habits and perseverance. Pursuing good habits keeps students on a path to growth in their learning skills.

More than the content we teach in classes, it’s establishing lifelong learning skills and commitment to growth that we most want for all our students.

Here’s habits of successful students when they have questions in class:

  • Ask right away. Don’t wait. Ask during class if possible. — Speaking up in class comes more easily to some than others. Help your student begin taking small steps toward speaking up. At work or in college, students will need to be able to speak out to succeed.  If your student needs more help than you can provide, encourage them to ask their favorite teacher to help them. Other sources include club advisors or our counselors. Help your student reach out to find someone with whom they are comfortable enough to learn and practice these skills.




  • Understand that struggle helps us learn. — Brain scientists call it productive challenge. When our brains find learning easy, they go through the motions with as little energy as possible. When we find learning more challenging, our minds pour more brain power into the task and develop more information pathways to support the learning. With this in mind, you may find that we don’t leap to rescue a student in the early stages of struggle. We will step in, but we know that intervening too early denies your student the chance to solve problems, learn, and gain confidence. Help your student persevere by asking, “What have you tried?” “What can you remember about it from class today?” “Is there more in your text or online?” These questions will steer them toward problem-solving, but they also will cause their brain to go back to the neural pathways that your student has already laid down for this learning.


  • Help your student practice advocating for themselves. — Every student’s tolerance for struggle varies. Help your student learn to communicate with their teachers about their learning. Use email, tutorial, and whatever other communication tools the teacher recommends, and reach out for help.  Coach  your student, but certain that they take the actions themselves. That’s how they learn. Assist them to articulate in their teacher messages exactly what they are struggling with and what they have tried already to help themselves. Learn more about a coaching method here.
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.