During the learning journey, students get hindered by one thing or the other and so are not able to move forward. This is where their teachers, parents, or wards come in. There are reasons why they look up to you. Getting help when stuck is one of those. As a mentor or someone in the position of freeing a student from a static situation, what are the key points to hold dear and put into use? The first impulse from most teachers is to unblock the situations themselves which may not be a long-lasting solution for the student. Here are some interesting ways to help students who say they are stuck.
Introduce the importance of online resources to them
There is practically a solution to every problem that abounds on the internet and this is because people post their experiences with solving certain issues on the online space for the benefit of those that may also encounter the same problem. There are so many write-ups on different aspects of learning that one can fall to if in a difficult situation. As a teacher to a student who is stuck somewhere along with his reading or assignment, you can help by directing that student to some online resources for their specific disciplines. Resources/guides by Osmosis are one such example that is very useful to Nursing students. There are many other online resources you can find on the internet with a good search.
Tell them it is okay to be stuck
Most students that find themselves in academic, roadblock situations could get overwhelmed and sad especially because they may have tried their best and couldn’t move forward. That feeling of being a failure could set in and as a professional teacher to that student, this is where you should come in. You need to let them know that it is okay to be stuck sometimes and that it happens to almost everyone. You can tell them stories of people who have achieved great things after they were able to surmount some of their temporary setbacks. Sometimes, this type of encouragement could get them to put in better efforts to free themselves from that situation.
Encourage them to take breaks from the situation
Some students that are stuck doing something usually don’t quit until they find a solution. They make it an unusual burden and cloud their everyday activities with thoughts of the problematic situation. This shouldn’t be so. It is never a do-or-die affair and sometimes, it is possible that the student is stuck because his or her brain has assimilated a lot and needs a rest. As a teacher, you can help that student by advising him or her to take a break and get involved in some fun activities like swimming, doing a movie, or riding a bicycle to feel the surrounding nature. Hanging out with friends can also be useful. Some of these activities have a way of clearing the head and allowing you to tackle the stuck situation better.
Find out what they know and teach them how to move forward
Most times, students can free themselves from a stuck situation if they are guided along their reading path but in a different way this time. As a teacher, you can ask your stuck student how far he or she has gone with an assignment or study. It is more like asking them to take you through to how they got stuck. Since you are more experienced, you could channel your wealth of experience into guiding the student to be freed from the situation. For an assignment, if there was any mistake along the way to the ‘stuck’ situation, you can help the student understand what was done wrong. Once this is set right, the ‘stuck’ situation is off. You can also guide a student to understand better what has been read. The extra knowledge could help unblock the situation too.
Teach them to try experimentation
Sometimes when things are not going as planned and a student is stuck and frustrated, you can encourage them to try some experimentation. This sometimes, helps you figure things out. This is especially useful in solving mathematics problems. You can tackle a math problem by using easier numbers and seeing how things play out. This would enable you to build a new method to follow up again and free you from a blockage. The trial-and-error methodology is encouraged to make a complex situation easier to surmount and sometimes, this might be all that is needed for the stuck student to figure out a way around his or her situation.
We face problems in our everyday lives. Sometimes, the solution no matter how simple may never come to us unless we talk with people. Students should be encouraged to speak up and ask for help. Making a caricature of those that speak out should be frowned at. There is no perfect person and we all need help sometime in our lives. As a teacher, parent, or ward to struggling students, you should encourage them and help them feel more comfortable with their academic endeavors.