Students that refuse to study are no doubt among the hardest to reach and teach. If you are struggling with a child who refuses to study, avoids school tasks, or drastically underperforms when it comes to completing assignments, know that you are not alone and there are ways to help such a student. Following are some guidelines that will help you maximize your impact on these difficult to teach students:
Stop the Power Struggle
As a teacher, you know how easy it is to end up in a power struggle with students who refuse to study or do much school work. Keep in mind that no adult ever emerged victorious in a power struggle with a child. So, if you feel like you are in a power struggle with a study refusing student, it is highly recommended that you acknowledge that to the youngster, declare truce, and take a step back for the moment.
There are a number of key reasons why students refuse to study. Most of the time, they are terribly weighed down by some kind of problem. Perhaps they are unmotivated or distracted. Maybe their parent is missing or violent. Perhaps they have a diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disorder that makes study work miserable. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to help a struggling student. You certainly don’t want to add burdens. Stopping any power struggles and clearly talking about how to manage the situation is a great place to start.
Get More Information
Your student who is refusing to study is also most likely the expert who can help you figure out why he/she is behaving that way. No one else may know why this is happening. So, you should ask the student and then listen carefully to the response you get for the reason for refusing to study. If this straightforward strategy fails, switch your focus to someone else who is relevant, e.g. their tutor from their economics tuition centre, parent, classmate, etc. to get more information. This may help yield important clues and you may get more information than the child would tell you otherwise. Whether or not you succeed at getting more information, it is recommended that you use the expertise of the student to improve the situation.
Give Them Control
Generally, students who refuse to study are stressed or anxious. They are struggling to cope. By refusing to study, they are trying to take control over one of the few things that they have any say over at all. Fighting them over the control can never end well. So, it is recommended that you hand the control to them. In this way, you will surely see improved results. Tell the student that you want to give them as much control over the situation as possible. This will help cure their anxiety a bit. Their anxiety is the best guide. Reduce expectations when it is high and incrementally increase them if its relatively low. Let the student know that you are willing to compromise when they are struggling. Also, tell them that you expect them to work as hard as possible on their better days.
Fuel Their Desire to Study
Students who seriously and routinely refuse or avoid study are most likely facing some kind of behavioral, social, or emotional problem that impedes their functioning. Even so, regardless of the significant challenges such students may have, most of these youngsters generally have days that are better or worse. So, just as mentioned above, you should adjust your expectations based on days when they are struggling or doing a bit better. It is recommended that you make specific agreements with them that reflect this kind of plan.
Students tend to be really grateful to know that the teacher is not going to add more burdens to their shoulders at times they are already struggling. So, by making the above-mentioned agreements with a child who is refusing to study, you can help them realize that you understand their situation. As a result, the student will develop a lot of loyalty for you which will fuel their desire to study when they are not struggling by whatever they may be going through.
In conclusion, these are the guidelines that will maximize your efforts to help a child who refuses to study. When following these tips, you don’t need to worry about such students taking advantage of you. These methods work best for students who are struggling to study due to some form of anxiety.