Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

School Problems:
“My parents and my teacher are on my case.”

Hey Terra,

My French teacher called my parents today because my grades dropped. She told them that I'm at risk for failing other subjects, too. When my dad came home, he gave me a whole speech about how I have potential, the teachers want me to do well, and that I just need to do the work, etc. He even swore at one point! Terra, I've gone through this with him before, and I don't know why I keep doing this. I mean, I hate it when my parents yell at me, and I think it's unfair that my teacher called my parents. I want to get good grades, and I do well sometimes, but I can't find my motivation. What should I do?


Dear Unsure,

I understand that you hate it when your parents yell at you. That's normal. And I hear that you want to do better in school... I respect you for that. It also sounds like you'd like some help figuring out why you're not "motivated" to follow through with your good intentions. Your teacher is concerned about you and so are your parents. They aren't the "enemy"... They're on YOUR side. I think you're angry with them because you're disappointed in yourself.

My suggestion is that you talk to the teacher ASAP and find out what she suggests that you do between now and the end of the term to actually get the work done. In terms of "finding" your motivation... Well, it might be helpful to take a good hard look at what's going on emotionally (outside of class) that might be making you feel like you don't want to try in French or in the other classes where you are "at risk."

Maybe you would be helped by talking to the school counselor.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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