Key Classroom teachers worry about their students more often than eight hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year. We worry about them all the time. We lay in bed thinking about how we are going to reach them, help them understand, change a behavior, ensure their learning and our lists goes on and on. The reason we worry is because we believe in our personal efficacy. We believe that our effort WILL make a difference. If we didn’t believe that the extra effort we put into each child would work we wouldn’t worry. Let me provide you with two ways to reach the hard-to-reach students, so you can sleep a little better.
1) Believe the student can make the change. Student efficacy is just as important as your own efficacy. Does the student believe that if they put more effort into their learning they will improve? Or does the child believe that you either are “smart” or you are not “smart”? Students must be taught that their success is contingent on their effort not their “smartness”. Provide timely and specific feedback on student work that includes their effort. Such as “I can tell you really worked hard on this paragraph because you used all of the spelling words, that was difficult but you did it!” If you truly believe in your own efficacy and the student believes in their own efficacy then change and learning will occur.
2) Behaviors can be taught just like a math skill. Teach a behavior, provide examples, activities, and then re-teach to those students who don’t understand. Practice the behavioral skill in many different settings, provide timely and specific feedback and report out to parents and students. This can be done by sticker charts that show the mastery of a behavior or portfolios used for students to chart their own behaviors and report out to their teacher and parents what their success looks like. Schools must teach school behavior and have high expectations for that behavior.
Please email us the best ways you reach hard-to-reach students at: email@example.com