Do you have a teen that rushes through assignments doing just enough to get the job done? I would normally chalk this up to the impetuous and impulsive teenage brain, but then what would be my excuse. I know my blogs are hardly perfect. There are many times when I go back a few days after I have published a blog and see missed words, words that don't make sense, and sentences that don't make sense. You'd think that I would know better, and honestly I do, it's just that old enemy of mine, rushing through.
It was only during the summer of writing my second book for a publisher and editor I respected and truthfully, was a little afraid of, that I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again and again until it was as perfect as I could make it. And honestly it worked, my manuscript got through editing and copyediting with very little change. But, man, it took a lot of f**king time and patience I really didn't think I had.
There are those of us who are built for speed. We sometimes race through life with imperfection. Criticizing and judging have little effect on us speed-demons. When I was in high school I had an extremely critical english teacher. Though I liked him personally, I felt like a failure in his class. And I had him for two years!!! Plowing through something without putting all the time in for perfection is a way of avoiding imperfection. Does that make sense??
As an adult, I figured it out that summer. Work on small increments, and in small segments of time. Repeat!! It really did work, and the pride I felt at my accomplishment was enormous.
So if you have a student that is kind of like me. Don't call him lazy. Don't criticize her for not taking the time to do a job well. Understand with him/her that in some way this goes against their nature, and get how hard it can be to acknowledge mistakes and work through them. And maybe suggest that they work a paragraph at a time, or a problem at a time. Take a break and go back and start again. It worked for me!