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Posted on December 7, 2012 10:54 pm
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Kristine Morris
Kristine Morris
Reps: 153
I just cannot do this!
After teaching for a few years, I have witnessed many students who say "I cannot do this." However, these students always seem to find a way to work through their problems and become successful in the end. However, I had a student you was very defiant in knowing that they would never understand anything I taught. For example, one day I took time during class to physical sit down with this student and work step by step with them on a problem. In the end, they believed we were working it incorrectly and completely erased all the work we had just accomplished. They kept believing that they were stupid and would never get the material that was being taught. It gets frustrating here a student believe this about themselves and it seems that I cannot do anything to change their mind. What can I do?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted April 18, 2013 6:58 pm

uteHaM
uteHaM
Reps: 103
I think the first step you should take is to figure out why the student is behaving like this. If it is to escape from doing the work themselves you should come with incentives to get the student through the class work and gradually offer less rewards until the student is doing the work themselves. Avoiding work like this could also be a sign that the work is either too hard or too easy for the students intellectual level and it might be beneficial to have the student assessed by a school administrator. If the student is behaving this way for attention I would start to reward the student every time he/she is completing the work to promote more on task behavior.
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erugyn
erugyn
Reps: 100
Great solution.
  Posted on: October 18, 2014 7:57 pm

dePyja
dePyja
Reps: 200
I agree with you. I think understanding why the student is behaving in this manner would be the first step in helping them. If it is just a way to escape doing the classwork then perhaps only giving them attention when they are doing the work is required. If it really is the child saying they are stupid and cannot understand the assignment then I would suggest starting small with them as it could be something deeper than just their behavior.
  Posted on: October 19, 2014 10:15 pm

Jenna Herberson
Jenna Herberson
Reps: 200
I agree with you, this is an excellent solution.
  Posted on: February 25, 2018 6:07 am

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Solution 2
Posted February 15, 2013 2:44 pm

ebuquv
ebuquv
Reps: 101
Since all prior attempts have not been successful, maybe the student has a learning disability and it may help to refer the student for the IEP process.
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TaHazy
TaHazy
Reps: 115
What do you know of the student's background knowledge and past education history? Does the student have learning gaps? If so, why? The work may be too difficult to process through if this is the case. What is their home life like? Are their basic needs being met(food, sleep, etc.)?

There are many reasons that a student may not believe that they can do the work.

One reason may be learned helplessness, in which the child's efficacy is so low, that they find it it easier to say, "it is just too hard," then to try and fail--because that is easier to deal with emotionally. Learned helplessness is common with children with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning disabilities. A student showing signs of learned helplessness will need confidence building exercises and positive feedback from the teacher and other adults in the child's life. You may need to start small, breaking things into smaller pieces and using verbal praise/feedback as well as non-verbal to help build the student's confidence.

Another reason a student may be having issues with academic confidence and work ability could be an undiagnosed disability (learning or medical. If the child has not been through the IEP process, I would make sure that the child was assessed through the proper channels and ensure that his academic needs are being met and if he qualifies for further services, accommodations, and/or modifications. This could go a great distance if the child is not getting services that they may need.
  Posted on: February 18, 2013 8:06 am

emaLeP
emaLeP
Reps: 100
I can see how this can be frustrating. If the student has a learning disability and has not been diagnosed now is the time to refer them. As far as things you may do to help the student, I would recommend trying to build their confidence. You may want to focus on problems or assignments that you know the student can complete. You may also want to break the assignments into smaller sections that the student can check off as they complete a section. You could also have this student teach another student something that they know how to do but the other student does not. These steps could help build the students confidence.
  Posted on: March 2, 2013 12:31 pm

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Solution 3
Posted February 28, 2016 5:27 pm

Charity Knowles
Charity Knowles
Reps: 200
I have one student currently who has self-esteem issues who always is sure they're 'dumb' and can't learn anything. We have tried positive reinforcement and praise but nothing seems to work with this student. The student has talked to the guidance counselor but they are always agitated afterwards when they talk to them. What I find helps this student is whenever they find something to be easy for them or when they're allowed to show someone else how to do something they really perk up. I find that allowing the student to teach others and be helpful with their knowledge allows that student to see themselves as a success rather than a failure like they think they are.
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Solution 4
Posted April 18, 2013 6:33 pm

eWaPyH
eWaPyH
Reps: 100
I have seen students behave like this, and it has been linked to behavior. The student would say "I'm stupid" out loud as soon as I passed out the work. The student was looking for a way to get attention due to lack of attention at home. I ignored the student's comments, and continued teaching the class. While I walk around the room to check the student's work, this student would ask me questions about the assignment. I made it a point to only answer the questions that were related to the work, and I never made comments back to his self-hatred. He still wanted attention from me, but he only got it if he was doing his work.
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Solution 5
Posted March 6, 2015 5:10 pm

ymuZuG
ymuZuG
Reps: 101
In this situation I would probably just keep working with this student on building their confidence. If they are doing something right, praise them. They might also benefit from talking with their guidance counselor about this issue.
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Solution 6
Posted February 20, 2015 7:32 pm

aBudyP
aBudyP
Reps: 97
If it turns out that the student does not have a learning disability, but more lack of motivation, and perhaps not a great positive encouraging support system at home, I have another idea. Knowing their interest and what motivates them is an important first strategy because this can be worked into the strategy for teaching them. Making the material as relevant as possible to their lives is key. But in the case that this still is not working, then a little psychology needs to take place. What skill or concept does this student know how to do, no matter how small it is? Have them teach a fellow student or younger student this skill, build their confidence up in this way. Along with continuous positive words about their ability to learn, and try, and being willing. Keep pressing in the importance of trying, not perfection.
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