With all the instructional materials like the pocket chart and other visual aids, some kids are having a hard time studying, learning and digesting what’s happening in school. It is not that teachers or instructors, especially teaching kids, are not good enough with their craft. Sometimes, teachers feel like they are doing something wrong or their efforts are not enough. The truth is, some students have learning difficulties.
Kids with difficulties are varied. Some are having troubles when it comes to digesting the knowledge being given to them. They are slower than the other students. On the other hand, kids with difficulties can also be behavioral. The ones affecting their academics are their attitude, behavior or social skills. In short, we cannot contain these students with a specific “stereotype” and just brand them that they are problematic. They are not problematic; they need help and especially if they are doing their best to be better.
So what should we do, as teachers, to help these kids to learn? There are tons of ways to do it. To help you with such, here are four means that you can do:
Give them tasks
Some kids think that they don’t need to do well in school, or at least try to do their best since they are not “needed.” They have that feeling that others can go on without any of their help. On the other hand, some kids are hyperactive. Other teachers think that these kids are a distraction to the class. We try to “control” them as much as we could.
Instead of succumbing to that knotty thought, why not maximize their energy? Giving these kids something to do will help them divert their attention and energy. Instead of them doing naughty things or ignoring school, make them feel that they are essential.
Kids with ADHD, or even those who are merely over energetic, need something to do. You got to keep them busy, so in some way, their activities can be contained or not distracting to other people. I have students who are prescribed to be given tasks in our daily routines like prayer leader, line leader, or subject representative. They love to do things and keep themselves busy. You can also ask some help from them with cutting and decorating.
Listen to them
More often than not when we are at the height of our emotions, we blurt out our frustrations in class. There are times that we forget we should also ask and listen to these kids. However, if we are after handling these students better, we should listen to them. Note that we are to hear not to reply, but to understand them better.
We can’t help and understand them if we don’t even try to know their side. Who knows if the students we thought that are with difficulties or conditions are just having a hard time as of the moment? Accurate enough, teachers are the students’ second parents so better act one.
Interact with them more often
Related to the previous point is this one – interaction. Note that this is not just the usual greetings, but it is creating more meaningful interactions with them. Again, we should get to know them better. Having them feel that they are important and valued is an excellent way to get their attention and trust.
Sometimes, educators and even parents just need more solo time uninterrupted with academics, work, and gadgets, is what the kids need.
Cooperate with parents and guardians
Even before you reach your patience’s peak in handling kids with difficulties, it is important to coordinate and cooperate with their parents and guardians. This probably explains why regular meetings and PTA conferences are being held. Parents and guardians need to know the performance of their children, and educators should also see how the kids are being taken care of at home.
Coordination and cooperation are critical especially to those kids who have conditions and have professional advice from doctors. Getting to know their routines at home as well as the suggestions from the doctors are a great help to teachers in handling the children in school.
A quick call or short email will do to start a simple rapport with children’s parents and guardians. It will be best to do this step as early as possible.
Moreover, if you need to ask advice or help from others like fellow teachers and guidance office, do so. It won’t let you less of a teacher to your students.
Probably the most effective and efficient way to handle kids with difficulties is by trusting them. Some of these kids don’t want to feel that they are different or should be treated specially. Trust them that they can be the best versions of themselves, if they just work for it and if you lead the way for them.