How Can Slow Learners Be Helped?
It can be a very frustrating experience teaching, training, instructing and observing the student who is unable to grasp the subject quickly or even at all. Every teacher or instructor faces this scenario at some point in time. There is that student that is slow to assimilate, process and apply information. In some cases, there are those who are unable to grasp certain things at all.
Looking through report sheets of various students over a period of time, one can easily conclude that some students are just not bright. What does the teacher do in such a situation? The most important thing to note is that a slow learner is not necessarily a dumb person. Perhaps this is not quite his sphere of intelligence. Perhaps his potential is a little different. Perhaps he has been lazy or hasn’t paid attention.
Praise Effort, not Results
Where a student has been diligent, the first thing we must do is praise their efforts. Yes; the results may be poor and unworthy of praise, but the effort put in by the student is worthy of commendation. Be sure to note the distinction though: praising poor results is not only wrong, but will further ensure that the student does not do better. But by all means, do commend any god efforts.
The student needs to be encouraged to put in more time and effort. While intelligence and natural ability are attractive, more often than not, hard work can catch up and in some cases overtake those. Help build their self-confidence by pointing out that they can excel if they put in more effort.
Give Extra Attention
The teacher or instructor needs to pay extra attention to the slow learner and help them make progress. There is no easy way around it. But the true teacher will go the extra mile for the reward of seeing their student do well. Draw up some extra time for them. Give them extra reading to do. Sit with them to explain the difficult things to them. Make them comfortable. The teacher needs to be their go-to person when they get stuck.
All things being equal, with a little assistance from a teacher who cares, even slow learners can produce some really amazing results.