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Dealing With Poor Performing Students

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There are some students in every class whom we call ‘weak students’, ‘low performers’, ‘poor performers’, ‘low achievers’ or ‘underachievers’. Most of these students are trapped in the vicious cycle of underperforming which leads to lack of motivation and further disengagement and disinterest from school and its curriculum. It is extremely crucial for teachers to identify these students and turn them into achievers.

There might be a number of factors responsible for the poor performance of students. Some of them may include poor economic conditions, lack of motivation, sleeplessness, poor concentration, personal problems, poor faculty, poor class engagement etc. It is the duty of the teacher to improve the standard of performance of the student and turn him into an achiever by identifying his pain points and working upon them. Some of the strategies that teachers can adapt to train these students are:

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1)Focusing on ability as well as motivation

It is crucial to understand that performance is the result of both ability and motivation. If either one of them is lacking in an individual, his performance is likely to deteriorate. It is important to instill in the child, the importance of being learned so that he is sufficiently motivated to work hard. Lectures must be invigorating enough to instill a hunger of knowledge in the student. The student must be positively motivated and to do that, teachers can set themselves as an example. They can preach to the students that their knowledge will be used in the betterment of the society.

2)Driving engagement in all the ways possible

The days when teachers could simply dictate notes to students for hours at a stretch are gone. Today, the students grow in a highly flexible and dynamic environment where they need continuous engagement at all levels: emotional, physical and intellectual. Teachers can strike a chord with students by giving them something they can relate to. For this, they can use multimedia that depicts real-life instances like music groups, cartoon movies etc. For intellectual engagement, they can resort to demonstrations and quizzes rather than boring classroom lectures. Imparting information at a cracking speed is essential to drift students away from boring patches.

3) Better structuring

The course agenda and the timetable should be set in a manner that keeps boredom at a bay. It is important to keep the course moving at a brisk pace. It is also crucial to keep the lectures short and crisp. Prolonging lectures to more than 2 hours can cause boredom and disinterest among the students. Switching between lecture hours and other activities can help to build student attention and grasping power. Using more props and live tutoring material can also keep the engagement levels high.

Besides academic teaching, behavior and character formation are also an important part of learning. It is important to keep activities like role-playing and gaming to test and build upon these parameters as well. These should be an essential part of the curriculum and not separate from it. As the competition is becoming more intense, it is now imperative to identify underachievers and work upon their holistic development before it is too late.

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