Acknowledging Student Difficulties

Definition:

This is a strategy to use when a student is becoming stressed and anxious because of a difficult task that you think the student can complete with some support, and the student is verbally complaining that the task is too hard or that he or she cannot do it. The teacher briefly acknowledges the student’s feelings before supporting him or her in the task, saying for example, “Yes, this is a difficult problem. Let’s start with number one.” Acknowledge that the task is hard for the student and then focus his or her attention on how to begin the task. Providing support with more challenging assisgnments can de-escalate a student’s work anxiety and help the student get started calmly.

Situation:

When I give my student any challenging or new work, he gets very anxious and starts saying, “it’s too hard.” When I try to tell him it’s not that hard and that he can do it, he only gets more anxious and insistent that it is impossible and sometimes starts having behavior problems.

  • Situation

    When I give my student any challenging or new work, he gets very anxious and starts saying, “it’s too hard.” When I try to tell him it’s not that hard and that he can do it, he only gets more anxious and insistent that it is impossible and sometimes starts having behavior problems.

  • Summary

    Instead of contradicting a student’s opinion that the work is too hard, acknowledge that it is difficult for him or her. Many students are calmed when their feelings are acknowledged. Then provide support for the student in beginning and/or completing the assignment.

  • Definition

    This is a strategy to use when a student is becoming stressed and anxious because of a difficult task that you think the student can complete with some support, and the student is verbally complaining that the task is too hard or that he or she cannot do it. The teacher briefly acknowledges the student’s feelings before supporting him or her in the task, saying for example, “Yes, this is a difficult problem. Let’s start with number one.” Acknowledge that the task is hard for the student and then focus his or her attention on how to begin the task. Providing support with more challenging assisgnments can de-escalate a student’s work anxiety and help the student get started calmly.

  • Quick Facts
    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Student is able to do work with support Student can fairly quickly comprehend auditory information

  • Process
    1. The student verbally complains that work you have given is too hard or that he or she can’t do it.

    2. Briefly acknowledge the student’s feelings before supporting him or her in the task, saying for example, “Yes, this is a difficult problem. Let’s start with number one.”

  • Documents and Related Resources

     

     

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