It is true that at one point in our lives, all of us have struggled in one field or another. While we know that the right approach is to never give up, students are yet to develop this mindset. As a teacher that they respect and look up to, it becomes your responsibility to show them what is best for them and help push through whatever it is that they are struggling with.
Guiding a struggling student is more like using the trial and error method; we never know what might work for which personality! However, there are some standard tips and techniques that you can use as your procedure to reach out. Yes, each student is different but these tips are a sure short way of being at least of some help to them.
Understand The Entire Issue
You cannot solve the issues of a struggling student in just one meet; it is a whole process. The school environment can sometimes be too much to handle and cope up with. Students may hesitate in expressing their concerns and so you need to learn to be patient. Teach them social skills so that they can process their problems, talk it out with you and function well both academically and personally.
Give Constant Encouragement
Students are at an age where they feel motivated when they are appreciated from time to time. Even if the student is not delivering according to the expectations, make sure you start with the good and then move on to criticism. If you see a student struggling, make him understand that this is normal and just an obstacle to finally reaching success. Be the teacher that tells them that with effort and hard work, they can do it!
Perseverance is the act of staying strong during times of struggle until we finally achieve success. When going gets tough, they must keep on working. Students look upto you and till the time they do not see you as a persistent teacher, they will not follow in your steps. If needed, make them understand again and again that problems can be dealt with in different ways; if one is not working, they can try out another.
Teach Time Management Skills
Sometimes, students struggle when they have a lot on their plate and are overwhelmed with work.Make sure students learn effective strategies to utilise their time and make the most of it. If needed, sit with each of them individually and help them sort their time table out. It is a good idea to take small steps. Instead of planning long term, they can start by dividing work and tasks one day at a time.
Change in Techniques
It is not important that each student will benefit with the kind of environment that you are providing. Sometimes, there is a need to look at a fresh perspective and make minor changes. For instance, it can be a change in the way you conduct your lessons or the kind of vocabulary that you use. Make sure you include the students and parents (if needed) opinion when you are changing techniques.
Work on Stress Busting techniques
Students may be stressed out not only in their academic but also personal lives. Be it a fight with a friend or be it family problems, you never know what ends up affecting a students studies. Make it a habit to check on students; making sure they are eating healthy and staying active. Sometimes, focus less on studies and make them watch a fun video or play an engaging game.
Finally, keep in mind that the first step for you is to make sure that all students open up to you. This way, when they are going through hard times, they can feel comfortable enough to share their struggles.
In the end, all of us are just humans and struggling is a part of our lives. What really matters is to have the support of our teachers, ones who are no less than mentors to guide us through these challenging times.
It is natural that in your teaching career, you must have encountered few or many students that may be struggling. In fact, it is possible that you as a student might have struggled too. Tell us your story along with a few tips and techniques so that it can be of further help to other teachers around the world. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org