A classroom is a mixture of children having different learning competencies and interests. Each student is special and unique in their own way. That is why some may perform well in some subjects while others may not. It is the fact that each student will be different from another. Few may showcase different talents and creativity. In this group of students, some may lag behind others in terms of their academic performance. Some students take more time to comprehend learning topics. So, such students are branded or considered as slower learners.
Now-a-days there are few encouraging thoughts that are heard as not to brand or consider students as ‘slow learners.’
Although such arguments appear now and then, the common question raised by most of the teachers is, what are the strategies to help slow learners? Before that, let us understand why they are not up to mark as expected in the academics?
➢ It can be challenging for slow learners to comprehend the topics being taught in the class. They may passively listen to the classroom or lack of understanding the topic discussed in the classroom. At the same time, the teacher may not sound interesting…!!! This can be the cardinal reason for the lack of expected progress in academics.
➢ At the same time, the learning retention of such students is relatively low. Hence, they forget the learnt concepts easily. Moreover, it is not easy for them to remember formulas, definitions and other important topics to apply them when required. This substantially affects their overall performance.
Now, what is the solution to improve them in academics?
Here are few suggestions spring to my mind:
✓ First, we should unbrand the child/student from the label ‘slow learner’ or from the ‘remedial class’.
✓ Try to stand in their shoes to understand the child’s difficulty in focusing on academics.
✓ Prepare different learning exercises like charts, mind-maps, formula tables, logical understandings to draw their attention and to create interest in learning.
✓ The best and easiest way to help these students is to assign ‘peer mentors.’ Students feel comfortable and easy to learn from their peers as the choice of words they teach may vary. This has proved results in the past.
✓ The most important strategy is that the teacher should appreciate the child’s achievement, even if it is small. It motivates the child to perform well.
✓ Small Talk, Small Topic and Small Writing (ST, ST, SW) (Own concept) – this practice can be implemented while teaching such students. Before or at the end of the class, talk to the child off the academics, discuss small topics (instead of discussing big topics – that may lose the child’s interest) and make the child write the same. This helps a child to memorize the discussed topic. Not to forget, follow up on the previous class is always mandatory.
✓ Last, but not the final strategy…!!! Keep the class lively and interact with children to ensure that each and every child is enjoying the class. Adding humour during the class is like a cherry on the cake…!!!
In short, respect every child in the class. Enjoy the teaching with a smile.
These two strategies will help a child to love the teacher and of course, to love the subject.
“Teaching is not by a chance; it should be by a choice”
Dr. Guruprasad BR
B.Com, MA Eng & Soc, B.Ed