Achievement and Success

Achievement and Success
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Achievement is setting positive goals that involve a little challenge, that through practice and work, these goals can be reached. When you achieve your goals, you become successful in those areas. Achievement and success is not being able to achieve your goals by working hard to better yourself and listening to others’ suggestions that will help you to better yourself, and then doing the best that you can for yourself.

Achievement and Success begins in the early stages of a persons life.. The years from ages five to twelve, kindergarten through sixth grade, are the most important years in a child’s life of developing confidence in himself and desiring to achieve in school to become successful when they become adults. What a child learned in preschool becomes more organized in kindergarten and first grade. How well a child learns his alphabet, add, subtract, spell, and read, compared to the other children in the class, will effect a child’s learning experience. If a child does well at the beginning stages of learning, he will remember that and will have a positive attitude and most likely become successful on his own.

However, if a child begins his learning experience by learning slow or making a lot of mistakes then that child will probably need a lot of encouragement and special help to achieve and become successful. It may even take a special teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to help that child and show him that she cares enough about him to help him achieve and become a success.

Longitudinal research indicates that a crucial period for the formation of abilities and attitudes for school learning is set between the ages of five and nine. “Bloom’s 1964 analysis suggests that adolescent or adult intelligence is approximately 50% stabilized or predictable by the first grade, whereas adolescent achievement in school is predictable to the same extent only at age nine, or about the end of grade three. This means that factors that contribute to school achievement other than intelligence are to a considerable extent stabilized during the first three grades. These factors are skill factors and are cumulative. If children have more skills in the first grade, they accumulate further skills in the second, and more in the third.” However, “Kohlberg, LaCrosse, and Ricks, note in 1972, that this stabilization of school achievement is based on the stabilization of factors of interest in learning attention, and sense of competence. This research points to the fact that a positive or negative attitude can effect a child’s school achievement. Children’s feelings about their ability to do their schoolwork are set in their early school experiences and these determine, in a major way, both the intensity and direction of their emerging self-conceptions of ability.

There are four major reasons why a child should experience as much success as possible during their elementary years of school, “(1) subsequent success is not only easier to build onto early success, it seems more possible to the student; (2( early success gives children not only a sense of competence and accomplishment, but a precedent with which they can strive to be consistent; (3) early school success makes any later school failures more bearable because they are more likely to occur within a consolidated self-esteem buttressed by achievement and fortified by personal accomplishment; and (4) early school successes help students develop the kind of positive mental image of themselves with which they can strive to be consistent. The last point is the most important because once a student develops an image and fixes it in his mind, he is mostly likely to behave and achieve in line or connection with that image that he has formed about himself.” (taken from the Psychology text book)

The question has been asked, Which comes first, a positive self-concept or high achievement? Evidence found by Wattenberg and Clifford in 1964, suggested that a negative self-image may affect a skill as basic as reading before children even enter first grade. After studying and research, Wattenberg and Clifford concluded that a child’s ability to read did not have anything to do with the child’s intelligence that was shown by a test score on an achievement test. Other evidence that proves that a positive self-concept comes before achievement was proven in a research involving fifty-three children in two elementary school classrooms. It was found that students who began with high self-concepts spent more time working with school related tasks and improved their self-images by getting more things done than students with low self-concepts. “Students who believe they are smart apparently work harder than students with less favorable self-appraisals and this effort results in higher grades”, (taken from the Psychology Text book). A positive self-concept does not cause high achievement, but it does effect achievement. The more credit a student gives himself will cause him to work that much harder to become productive which will help him to become successful. I agree with the fact that self-concept proceeds achievement because, if you feel good about yourself and what you are learning then you will enjoy and have a stronger desire to work hard to become successful than if you have a low self-concept of yourself and your abilities.

Success, self-esteem, and a positive self-concept are very closely related. Success makes people feel good about themselves and provides an opportunity for significant others to respond positively and favorably to the person behind the accomplishment. Success has a mark on a person’s behavior and how they feel about themselves.

Teachers have a very important part in a student’s achievement and success. Teachers have a big influence on a student’s learning skills. A student who is encouraged by a teacher and praised for his work is more likely to be a success than a student who is put down and told about every mistake that he has made, by a teacher.

I interviewed Sis. Denise Johnson who is currently teaching third grade at a public school in Merritt Island, Florida. She said that she believes in giving praise to a student. Sis. Johnson said that even if the student’s homework is not done correctly, she will find something good about the work that the student has done and praise him for it. She will also make a special effort to help a student who is having trouble by either spending time with that student individually or by letting the student take the assignment home and let his parents help him with it. Sis. Johnson also said that she tries to get to know all of the families of the students so she can learn which parents encourage their children and which parents do not, so she can especially encourage the students who have little or no encouragement at home. Sis. Johnson sometimes does give away prizes for good work done. However, she feels that praise is much more effective.

Praise is the most effective form of recognizing a student’s good work or encouraging a student who is having difficulties, to keep trying. “There are five basic principles to keep in mind when giving praise to a student; (1) Praise is a more powerful motivator than either criticism or reproof. (2) Praise is not just what is said but how it is said. (3) Praise does not affect students in the same way, for example, bright students with high self-concepts usually work harder when their ideas are challenged and criticized. They want to show you how it is done. (4) Effective praise tends to do at least three things. It 1) communicates how you feel about the performance, 2) communicates something about how well the student has done, and 3) encourages the student to evaluate his or her own performance. These are not necessarily communicated all at one time, but if there were a praising remark that you might use, it would be “I feel really good about your performance, or effort, because you have made such a nice improvement over your last try. How do you feel about what you have accomplished? (5) Honesty is important. Only praiseworthy performances or effects should be praised”, (taken from the Psychology text book).

The key to becoming a successful teacher is to believe in that student and help him to become what he is capable of being. A teacher should not only be a teacher, but also a friend. Friendship and showing someone that you care about them, makes them want to achieve and become successful.

Success in the Church

Many of the same principles that make one an achiever in any field are the same principles that help us to achieve our purpose in Christ and be successful in the church. There are five basic characteristics that can be seen in the lives of those who achieve in the world and these characteristics also apply to being a successful Christian in the church.

(1) They have a clear vision of there purpose. A successful Christian knows how to seek God and be specific. They know or have an idea of the calling that God has placed on their life, whether it be a teacher, music director, a prayer warrior, or even a janitor in the church. These people are willing to do what ever they are asked to do for the church.

(2) They stay focused on their purpose. Some people say they know their purpose and feel a calling of God in a certain area, so a pastor will give those people a chance to fulfill that calling by letting them do something in the church. However, some people start things but never finish them. A successful Christian, however, will stay focused on that task that they have been given and see it finished or keep it going.

(3) They have the wisdom and resolve to gather the necessary resources, or training for accomplishing their purpose. Successful Christians in the church, in most cases did not just become a success overnight. They had to learn how to become successful in their ministry. To be successful in the church, you have to first go through a period of training. This means that you must ask questions about things in the church and find other people who are successful in the church and are truly dedicated to God and study under them for a while. They usually have the answers that you are looking for.

(4) They do not associate with “problem-oriented people”, but with “solution-oriented people”. People, who are successful in the church, associate with people who have solutions to situations or positive things to say instead of talking about all of the problems in the church and that have a negative attitude about everything and like to gossip.

(5) They refuse to let obstacles or opposition stop them; they stay resolutely on the course to fulfilling their purpose regardless of setbacks and disappointments. These people refuse to let a challenge or bad circumstance stop them from becoming a success. When tough times come their way, they face the challenge and keep on going. They know how to trust in God and let Him take care of the situation. They understand that if life was always easy, there would be no challenge and that the only way to become successful is to overcome difficulties and achieve new things. This is what makes a person successful.

I interviewed my pastor’s wife, Sis. Louise Syfert, from my home church in Paris Illinois, and asked her what she thinks it takes to be successful in the church as a leader. She said that to achieve a good standing in the church and be recognized as a leader you should be honest to yourself and to others in giving and in a spiritual sense. She said that you most focus on your purpose for serving God and be a servant in the church. This means being willing to do whatever is asked of you. Or if someone else isn’t doing there job and you see the need, be willing to offer your assistance, even if it is the hardest job.

Sis. Syfert said that to be successful, you must also be an example. This means living a pure and holy life, and be willing to help others who are struggling. Be a friend to someone in need and pray with them.

Also, Sis. Syfert said that one way that she feels like she has been successful as a leader and the pastor’s wife is through prayer. You cannot be successful or achieve at anything in the church if you don’t have prayer in your life and allow God to take control of your success. It is God who has made us successful, and He can take away our success at any time if we are not using our success for the right reasons.

God smiles on us and blesses us when we give him the credit for our success and let Him use us for His purpose. If we live for him and follow after His word, He will make us into successful Christians in the church and on the job and in school. Everyone is a success in God’s eyes. All we have to do to achieve and become successful is give ourselves to God and trust in him, and be willing to work hard to become what God has purposed for us to become.

 

This article may be used for study & research purposes only.

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