Question Detail

If there are students who are acclimated to lower level thinking, how can I encourage them to break out of their comfort zone and push through frustration? How can I reverse bad attitudes toward education? And finally, in students whose confidence may have been shattered by past experiences, how can I get them to exhibit perseverance in their approach to learning?

Sep 17, 2016 10:47am

  • Science
  • 7-12
  • Class Culture / Engagement / New Teachers / Planning


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    • Oct 16, 2016 1:01pm

      How can a teacher help students value education and overcome previous negative experiences? I blieve there are three things that will be of primary help.

      First, genuinely like the students and see value in them. Once the students know that, they are often much more willing to hear what else you are trying to teach them about education and life. To that end, be prepared to teach soft skills (time management, perserverance, communication skills, etc.) without demeaning them. Teachers in their past have assumed the students know these things.

      Second, create a learning environment where it is okay to have a wrong answer or even to say, "I don't know." Too often we've inadvertently taught young people that school is only for the "smart", and that the majority of students have little place there. It pays to make mistakes yourself, and to model how an adult deals with frustration and/or lack of knowledge.

      Third, notice what students are doing right, the processes they are using, and their efforts. Use effective feedback and encouragement. If we want students to do something again, we have to tell them exactly what they did that worked. Word this in terms of the student, not in terms of the teacher's likes or dislikes.

      I've worked in schools where it was the norm to be alienated from education and the school system. I've used the three points above. They work!