“I’m never going to pass that subject,” is what your adolescent says about a subject that he doesn’t like. How can you help him?
I had to give grades to my students. It is one of the most delicate moments as a teacher, because you must know how to talk to the student so as not to hurt him, nor discourage him. I encourage the most outstanding adolescents by recognizing their work, their effort and motivating them to keep trying harder. For students with low or failing achievement, I ask them about the reason or reasons why they think they received that result.
The answers are the same: “I didn’t have time to study”, “I don’t understand you”, “I was lazy”, “I got nervous”, “I don’t like school” or simply “I don’t like the subject.” The latter was the reason why a student outstanding in other areas failed mine. We continued talking and I realized that this little girl was totally closed to the possibility of even making an effort to accredit the subject, as if her disdain was enough to ignore her from the strip of subjects. This led me to change my strategy and “pique his pride” by making him see that just as in school he will find subjects that he likes, likewise in life he will always run into situations that he does not support, however, you will have to overcome them if you really want to succeed and achieve your ideals.
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If you notice that your child is low in a particular subject, talk to him and ask why, without scolding but not with the attitude of overprotecting him. If the reason is that he does not like it, advise him of the following things:
1. Expose it to the holder
On some occasion when I finished my first day of class where the teacher and the subject were introduced, a student approached me and said: «Teacher, I have nothing against you, you can see that you like your work. But I want you to know that I only like numbers, letters and their rules do not fit me; I hope the first time I pass with you ». Like a bucket of cold water, her comment fell on me. At first it puzzled me, but honestly it helped me a lot to put more effort in my classes and especially in this boy. Therefore, I assure you that by exposing it, something will move the teacher to apply more.
2. Follow up
At home it can and should also be supported. Remember that adolescence is very difficult, both for your child and for all the people around him but, without a doubt, the presence of his parents – even if they try to hide it – will always be the most important. Therefore, it is necessary that you get involved in this area in a very subtle way, without perceiving it as harassment or as a sign that you do not trust him. As you already know that there is a complicated or unpleasant subject for him, it is valid that you ask him continuously what he has seen in class, in this way you will make him review without him noticing.
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It is not easy to live with a teenager and even less if it is your own child, but I assure you that it is worth the effort if this will help you to have your child better prepared and at the same time you will live more with him.