Successful Students vs Poor Performing Students.

90% of the human population have roughly the same IQ.

5% are above the norm.

5% are below the norm.

Almost ALL of us are born with the same intellectual capacity.

Question: Why do some students succeed and some students fail?

Answer: HABITS

Successful students aren’t born “good at school.” Successful students establish good “Academic Habits” early on, and then those habits carry them through college and beyond.

Top 5 Academic Habits (In order of Importance)

  1. Good Behavior – “Sit Down, Be Quiet and Listen!”
  2. Specific Homework Spot and Specific Homework Time.
  3. Complete All Math Homework – Every Problem, Every Assignment and then do more!
  4. Study – Know how to Study and Retain Information. Then, the student actually applies the Study Habits they know by studying and studying often.
  5. Perseverance – When problems or work is confusing, successful students have the habit of “pushing through.” Successful students understand that some work will be difficult. Moreover, successful students know that they are smart enough to figure it out if they just keep trying. Successful students don’t quit.

Poor performing students often want to succeed. Poor performing students often care about their grades. Unfortunately, poor performing students just haven’t built the same habits as their successful classmates.

Ultimately, we are all slaves to our habits. We become what we repeatedly do. We have to be insanely intentional about our everyday actions. We have to be insanely intentional about the habits we form.


Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.




“5-6 Pages” Every Subject, Every Night. (Part 1 of 2)

Part 1

Why is it wrong to expect our students to read?

Why is it wrong to expect our students to read the entire textbook? Not all at once of course, but 5 to 6 pages – every night?.. Would that be too much to ask of our children?

Why is it wrong to expect our students to study the 5 to 6 pages that they read – every night? Would it be wrong to assign homework questions over those 5 to 6 pages – every night?

Would it be wrong to give a daily quiz, covering the previous nights reading assignment? Would it be wrong to give this quiz, first thing every single class period?

After the quiz, would it be wrong to discuss the quiz questions/answers in class? What if the teacher then transitioned from this discussion to a lesson that re-explained or built upon the 5-6 pages that were assigned the night before? Every Friday, could the teacher give an exam that covered the 25-30 pages that were assigned during the week?

Would it be wrong for an entire school to make “5-6 Pages” the norm for every subject? Would this strategy challenge our students, consistently?

Would the expectation of reading and mastering 5-6 pages every night, for every subject, be too much too ask?


(Continued below in the following post.)

“5-6 Pages” Every Subject, Every Night. (Part 2 of 2)

(Part 2 of 2 – Continued from Part 1)

As educators, we over-complicate teaching and learning.

We over emphasize technology.

We over emphasize group work.

We over emphasize project based learning.

We place too much emphasis on entertaining our students and too little emphasis on educating our students. Lets get back to the basics!

Students should read – more!

Students should write – more!

Students should study – more!

And finally, students should be quizzed, tested, and assessed on their progress!

Educators, we must raise our expectations! We should take the textbook, read it, study it, and master every page. Afterwards, we should demand that our students read, study and master every single page too. Sure, we can add our individual touch to our lessons, notes, and stories. We can supplement the textbook any way we deem necessary. We can add to the textbook, but we should never subtract from the textbook. We must cover every page!

Will the students like this approach? No, but that’s not news! We already know that most students don’t like to read. We already know that most students don’t like to write. However, just because the students don’t like to do it, does not mean we shouldn’t make them do it!

We are the educators! And we should make our students read, write, and study the entire textbook – 5 to 6 pages at a time!


Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Need versus Want

This message does not apply to us all. But, it does apply to most.

The reason why we are not where we should be in our lives is quite simple:

What we want to do with our time is in direct conflict with what we need to do with our time.

Read versus Netflix?

Write versus Snapchat?

Math versus Madden?

Study versus Sleep?

Need versus Want!

We should do more of what we need to do and less of what we want to do.


Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Life is just like Math.

Like a math teacher, LIFE gives us problems. This is true for everyone.

Some of our problems are easy and can be solved quickly.

But some problems are hard and take time.

The hard problems take all of our energy. The hard problems cause heartache and keep us up at night. The hard problems often make us bitter, they make us lazy, they make us want to quit.

The hard problems test our resolve. They test our patience. They test our faith.

Perfect! The hard problems are exactly what we need!

A good teacher is suppose to test us. A good teacher is suppose to challenge us! Challenge is what makes us better students! Challenge is what forces us to grow!

Sometimes, we have to reach a low point in order to rise. In other words, sometimes we have to hit “Rock Bottom.” This can be good for us, because “Rock Bottom” is often the foundation we need to rebuild our lives.

Like a good math teacher, LIFE gives us hard problems. And like good students, we face these problems head on. We are the walking image of persistence and the epitome of hard work! We will solve these problems and we will pass each test!


Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Words Have Power.

God Dont Make No Junk

I had self esteem issues when I was young.

In grade school, fellow students told me I was ugly. After you hear something for so long, you start to believe it. So, I thought I was ugly.

In grade school, they made fun of my clothes, my shoes, and the way I spoke. They called me poor. So, I thought I was poor.

In grade school, I was pretty good at reading, I was good at history and even science – but I really struggled in math. I thought I was dumb.

Fourth Grade..

One night while doing my homework, I had a break down.

I cried to my mother and told her how I was feeling. I told her that the kids called me ugly and I felt ugly.

I told her that the kids made fun of my shoes and my clothes and the way I talked. They called me poor and I felt poor.

I told her that I was trying harder and harder with my math homework, but I always missed the problems. I always messed up. I told my mama that I felt dumb.

I sobbed.

My mother was exceptional. So, of course she comforted me. My mom told me I was handsome.

She told me that although we didn’t have expensive clothes, we were not poor – because “poor” was a mindset.

My mother explained that “long division” is tough, and the only way for me to get better at it, was to keep struggling with it.

I eventually stopped crying, but I didn’t feel any better.

But, my mother wasn’t done with me.

That night while I slept, she placed a quote on my wall. She placed it where it was obvious and plain for me to see. The next morning, it was the first thing I saw when I awoke. I don’t know where she got it from, but slowly – over time, the quote changed my perspective.

The quote changed how I felt about myself.

Slowly, the quote transformed me from a little boy who felt sorry for himself into a young man who felt empowered and unafraid.

The quote is “I know I’m Somebody, Cause God Don’t Make No Junk!!”

The quote is true.

If you’re struggling with anything, put the quote on your wall or write it on your bathroom mirror. As you read the quote day after day, things will change. I can’t explain it, but these words have power.


Maurice Guest Jr., is and education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Stop Playing So Much!

You have no idea how much control you have.

Unless you have terminal cancer, a severe disability, or you live in a 4th world country – you have complete control over your future.

Please stop waiting on good things to happen to you. Wake up, and make good things happen!

If you want better grades, study smarter and study harder – consistently.

If you want better income, work smarter and work harder – consistently.

If you want better relationships, love smarter and love harder – consistently.

What do I mean by “smarter?” Figure out how you can accomplish what you want, and then sprint toward it – every single day!

Stop playing so much! Stop waiting! Think, then get to work!

Mrs. Experience

Mrs. Experience was my toughest teacher. She always gave us the test first, let us fail, and then she taught the lesson.

At the time I thought she was unfair.

Nevertheless, I learned more from her than I learned from any other teacher.


Maurice Guest Jr., is an education administrator in Little Rock, Arkansas.