Care to remember

I have worked with lots of students through the years and there is a big difference between their abilities to remember things. What can you do to improve your ability to remember things so that you too can have more success in school?

It seems to be that the first step to success is really caring about yourself, so that you take responsibility for your actions. Your parents and teachers are there to assist you on your journey, but you are ultimately responsible for the effort your make. When you really care about yourself, you will have a burning desire to be successful and take actions that show this. The rest of the things that are needed for your success will happen when you really care, because care gives you the power to take action.

If you have things to remember, you need to make the effort to remember them. Most of memory is based on caring to take action to practice until you do remember. As an example, if you have a math formula to remember, make the effort to write out the formula on paper and to read the formula out loud as many times as it takes to remember it. Decide ahead of time that you will remember the formula, and refuse to quit before you do!

It has been said that people remember almost none of what they hear, much more of the things they write down, and almost all of the things they do. So, make sure to write down all key information in each class and to take action to do all of the homework. Go one step further by redoing any homework that you did not do correctly on the first attempt, so that you learn from every mistake along the way.

In my experience working with students, it seems that when a student is unable to remember things, the reason is a lack of desire, belief or both. Really, you just need to take action and then you will find that your desire and belief improve as you see what you are really capable of! Successful students take action every day to improve themselves, deciding ahead of time that they will never give up when faced with a new challenge.

In doing math, I have found that I remember concepts that I fully understand and it seems these concepts get placed in long-term memory. On the other hand, when it comes to facts that need to be memorized, such as the multiplication table or perfect squares, constant practice is needed. Maybe these things are stored in short-term memory at first, before eventually moving to long-term memory after lots of repetition. A deeper understanding comes when you teach other people, since this forces you to take action to think carefully through all of the details. Always look to share your knowledge with others!

What strategies do you use to remember things? Do you agree that caring to take action is the key to improving your memory?

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