Asking for help and getting students to ask for help is important to ensure the student’s success, both in academics and in life. Unfortunately, many students struggle with asking for help, whether due to fear of judgment, a lack of understanding, or feeling overwhelmed.
As educators, it is important that we help our students develop the skills and confidence they need to ask for help when they need it.
Today In this blog post, we will explore why students may struggle to ask for help and provide some tips on getting students to ask for help. Let’s get started
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Table of Contents
Why Students May Struggle to Ask for Help
Before looking at tips on getting students to ask for help, let’s see why students may struggle to ask for help. There are many reasons why students may struggle to ask for help. Here are a few common ones:
- Fear of Judgment: Students may fear that asking for help will make them appear weak or incompetent in front of their peers or teachers. They may worry that their classmates will make fun of them or that their teachers will think less of them if they need help.
- Lack of Understanding: Sometimes, students may not realize they need help. They may think they understand a concept when they really don’t, or they may not even know they are struggling until it is too late.
- Feeling Overwhelmed: Students may feel so overwhelmed by the work they have to do that they don’t even know where to start. They may feel like they are drowning in assignments and projects, and asking for help may seem like another task to add to their list.
- Lack of Confidence: Some students may lack the confidence to ask for help. They may feel like they should be able to figure things out independently or worry that they will be a bother if they ask their teachers for help.
Encouraging And Getting Students to Ask for Help
As educators, we can help our students overcome these obstacles and develop the skills and confidence they need to ask for help when needed. Here are some tips for getting students to ask for help:
Create a Safe and Supportive Learning Environment
Students are more likely to ask for help if they feel comfortable and safe in their learning environment. Make sure your classroom is where students feel welcomed and respected and know they can ask questions without fear of judgment.
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Teach Students to Self-Advocate
Another way to get students to ask for help is to teach them self-advocate. Help your students understand that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Teach them how to advocate for themselves and communicate their needs effectively. This includes teaching them how to ask questions, seek clarification, and express their concerns.
Provide Multiple Avenues for Help
Different students may feel more comfortable asking for help in different ways. Some may prefer to ask questions in class, while others prefer to talk to you privately after or during office hours. Some may feel more comfortable asking for help online or through email. Make sure you provide multiple avenues for students to ask for help so they can choose the one that works best for them, which is necessary for getting students to ask for help.
Use Peer Support
Sometimes students may feel more comfortable asking for help from their peers rather than their teachers. Encourage students to work together and to help each other out. You can also assign peer tutors or mentors to help struggling students.
Provide Feedback and Encouragement
When students do ask for help, make sure to provide them with feedback and encouragement. Let them know that you appreciate their willingness to ask questions and seek help, and provide them with constructive feedback that will help them improve.
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Normalize Asking for Help
it is important to normalize asking for help. Talk to your students about the importance of asking questions and seeking help, and share stories of successful people who have asked for help in their own lives. Make it clear that asking for help is acceptable, an essential part of the learning process, and a valuable skill for success in all areas of life.
Set Clear Expectations
Communicate your expectations regarding asking for help. Let your students know you expect them to ask questions and seek clarification when needed. This can be done through class discussions, syllabus or class policies, or individual student conversations.
Break Down Tasks
When students feel overwhelmed, they may not even know where to start. Break down larger assignments or projects into smaller, manageable tasks. This can help students feel less overwhelmed and more confident in asking for help with specific parts of the task.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Recognize and reward students who ask for help. This can be done through verbal praise, written feedback, or even small tokens of appreciation such as stickers or certificates. This positive reinforcement can help students feel more confident and motivated to seek help when needed.
Model Asking for Help
Finally, as educators, we need to model asking for help ourselves, which is a fantastic way of getting students to ask for help. By showing our willingness to ask questions and seek clarification, we demonstrate to our students that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength and a commitment to learning.
Check also: The 5 Best Methods for Teaching Online Students
Asking for help is crucial for success, but it is not always easy. Students may struggle with asking for help due to fear of judgment, a lack of understanding, feeling overwhelmed, or lacking confidence.
As educators, we can help our students develop the skills and confidence they need to ask for help by creating a safe and supportive learning environment, teaching them to self-advocate, providing multiple avenues for help, using peer support, providing feedback and encouragement, normalizing asking for help, setting clear expectations, breaking down tasks, using positive reinforcement, and modeling asking for help ourselves.
By encouraging our students to ask for help when they need it, we are helping them develop academic skills and important life skills that will serve them well in all areas of their lives.
Why is it important for students to seek for help?
Asking for assistance enables us to surround ourselves with people who can enhance our well-being and promote growth. These individuals instill confidence and hope in our ability to handle difficult circumstances, strengthening our resilience.
Why is it hard for students to seek for help and support?
Students exaggerate their knowledge and skills. Pupils do not acknowledge their need for help quickly enough. Students might think you’re difficult to talk to. Pupils are unaware of the resources that are offered.
How do you promote asking for help?
Here are four strategies to help your kids learn how to ask for assistance at home and school.
Make expectations and directives clear.
Remind them that asking for help is OK.
Discuss the benefits of requesting help.
Explain how they should ask for help.
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