Friday, March 3, 2017

5 Tips for Preventing Dependency in Anxious Students

Tip 1: Pull Yourself Back: Don’t accept the word “help” in isolation
It’s exciting and a huge step when a student asks for help as opposed to putting their head 
down or avoiding the activity by going to the bathroom. But don’t stop there: now promote the 
use of a more self-reflective statement. In post-secondary school life, the word “help” won’t
be of much use. We can’t call the cable company and simply say “help.”
When a student says “I need help,” the teacher typically goes into action and essentially does 
all the work, scanning the student’s work and assessing the problem - “oh, you are stuck on 
problem number 4? Remember the formula you need to figure that out?” In many situations,
“I need help” is equivalent to “Teacher, do something!” The student didn’t articulate or even think about what they needed help with or why. 
Pull yourself back. Pretend you don’t know what the issue is. Respond instead by probing: 
“What do you need help with and why?” Allow them to self-advocate and articulate their 
confusion in a more sophisticated and self-reflective way.