Speaking – Talks Currently Available

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Speaking Opportunities:

Bring the Whole Student Philosophy to your Community

Suzanne Ferguson now brings the Whole Student Philosophy to Twin Cities schools.  Dynamic and engaging, she has experience speaking to groups from 20 to 200. Rooted in professional experience with hundreds of students, Suzanne’s various educational talks are also brimming with personal experiences and relevant scientific studies.

For more information or to inquire about scheduling Suzanne for a speaking engagement at your school or district, please contact suzy@fergusontutoring.com.

Suzanne Ferguson at Chanhassen High School, March 2015.
Suzanne Ferguson, Founder and Lead Tutor

Suzanne Ferguson has been teaching, tutoring, and mentoring students in the Twin Cities for almost 20 years. In 2015 she brought her charismatic personality and vast experience to the stage to speak to 85 parents and students at Chanhassen High School. Ever since, she has been speaking to families about the importance of balanced academic preparation including skills, knowledge, and introspection.

Read her full bio here.

Talks Currently Available …

Preparing for Performance

Emotional Awareness and Academic Success

Length: variable

Emotional preparation, self-awareness, and intentional confidence-building are integral parts of performance. Disciplines such as athletics and the arts both weave these skills throughout the training and address them directly.

In early childhood, educators integrate emotion-coaching and academic skills to create a balanced curriculum that enriches the whole child.

Around middle school, academic education loses sight of this essential aspect of performance. We do not weave emotional preparation throughout our academic curricula. We do not address self-awareness as a tool for performance preparation. In effect, we do not teach our future adults the essential skills to be successful lifelong learners.

As a result, the emotional preparation for performance of an adult in the workplace is often unintentional.  To boost self-confidence before a big presentation, we develop small rituals like wearing a favorite shirt without even realizing the effect. These coping skills, while useful, are often insufficient.

Preparing for Performance explores these absent skills. Through unexpected comparisons to athletics and performance arts, Suzanne will have listeners viewing academic performance in an approachable way they never knew was possible. From there, she discusses how to prepare for performance (read: study) and, more importantly, how to THINK about learning in a way that will increase confidence, efficiency, and success.

Academic Performance

Anxiety and the High-achiever

Length: 1 hour

It often comes as a surprise, to both parents and students, when a high-achiever begins to experience academic anxiety during high school. While anxiety around testing, grades, or performance can certainly begin to show at any age, for many high-achievers it isn’t until the high school pressures of advanced classes, packed schedules, college applications, and college admissions exams that academic anxiety begins to cause stress in a student’s life.

The emotional roots of academic anxiety are often the same for high achievers as for their peers, however the causes, symptoms, and approaches are markedly different.

This talk puts into perspective the mindset of the high-achiever high school student and provides parents and students with practical academic and life skills to maintain balance without sacrificing goals.

Suzanne’s advice is rooted in both personal and professional experience.  As a high school student in the Twin Cities, she is a graduate of the UMTYMP program and was a full-time PSEO student for both her junior and senior years. As a private tutor she has worked with many high-achievers from both Twin Cities public and private high schools as well as from programs such as UMTYMP and PSEO.

ACT Success: Finding Your Comfort Zone

Comfort with Structure, Content, and Self

Length: 2 hours*

The ACT is more important to high school students than ever and college applicants who wish to score high need to prepare This presentation is broken into three sections. The first section reviews why prep is beneficial. Suzanne Ferguson discusses the impact of multiple ACT attempts, superscoring, and the importance of “total comfort.” The longer, second section emphasizes the relevance of a student’s mental and emotional readiness during the preparation period. The third and final section provides students with an ACT Prep mini lesson. Suzanne creates comfort for students taking the ACT by analyzing the test’s content, emphasizing its structure, and revealing how the student applies her strengths and weaknesses.

*Note: The 1st hour is the talk; the 2nd hour is the ACT Prep preview (presented as a lesson). The 2nd hour can be removed. An outline of the entire presentation is available upon request.