Encouraging Student Efforts Isn't Easy

Dear Dr. Sylvia:

Q. How do you convey to students the relationship between hard work and achievement without having students feel that they are dumb and hence need to work hard?

A. If you tell the class that you're a hard teacher in that you provide challenging work, it will help the students understand that they are not "dumb". The class should understand that they'll all have to work hard because they're learning a lot more now that they're in a higher grade. We like to remind students, "the harder they work, the smarter they'll become and the smarter they are, the harder they'll work".

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