How To Understand the Needs of Your Student
Identifying and understanding your student’s needs is not easy. Parents often worry that their student is falling behind or that they are not getting the support they need at school, but they don’t know how to address these concerns.
When you understand your student’s educational needs, you are in a much better position to help them rise to challenges and reach their potential. You are able to build confidence and resilience, giving kids the foundation they need to achieve their best results.
Here are some tips to help you understand and address your student’s needs.
Pay Close Attention to Your Student
Parents know their children better than anyone else and play a critical role in ensuring that learning needs are addressed as early as possible. A 2015 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found that students with learning issues often develop a long-term ‘learning gap’ that continues into adolescence.
There is abundant evidence that early intervention can significantly improve outcomes before learning problems become entrenched. Parents can ensure their student gets the help they need by keeping an eye out for problems and taking immediate action rather than adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach. If students appear to be struggling with any aspect of their schooling, it’s vital to seek support sooner rather than later.
Communicate Regularly With Teachers
If you’re concerned about your child or simply want to gain a greater understanding of their needs, your first point of contact is the school. Teachers should have a good awareness of your child’s abilities and progress, and they can provide advice about the support options available. Teachers can also tell you about social problems that may be affecting your student’s performance.
It’s important to stay in regular contact with your child’s teachers and not rely solely on school reports and parent-teacher conferences for information. While teachers do a wonderful job, they are extremely busy and it’s easy for students to slip between the cracks. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your child’s schooling, it’s up to you to advocate for them.
Seek Advice from Professionals
In addition to speaking regularly with teachers, it’s also a good idea to seek professional advice about your student’s learning needs. Problems with vision and hearing, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia often go undiagnosed for extended periods, leading to serious learning gaps. Students with these conditions are often labelled as disruptive or lazy, leading to poor self-esteem and an aversion to learning.
It’s important to provide any relevant documentation from professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, psychologists and speech therapists to your child’s school so they can use this information to develop a personalised learning plan. This should be done in consultation with you and the learning support team.
Identify Your Child’s Learning Style
Sometimes students struggle in class simply because traditional teaching methods do not suit their learning style. The three dominant learning styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. While there is a growing awareness of the importance of catering to all styles, many teachers still rely heavily on ‘chalk and talk,’ which requires students to sit still and listen. This method is particularly difficult for kinesthetic learners who require a more ‘hands-on’ approach to learning.
You can get a good idea of your child’s style through observation. Visual learners are more likely to show an interest in art and be skilled at reading maps, while auditory learners love to talk and listen to music. Kinesthetic learners may have trouble sitting still and use a lot of hand gestures while talking. When you understand your student’s learning style you can provide educational experiences they will enjoy
Work With a Tutor
One of the most effective ways to understand and address your student’s needs is by working with a tutor. Unlike classroom teachers who must cater to the needs of multiple students, a tutor provides focused, one-on-one support for students and gives detailed feedback after each session to parents.
Tutor Doctor’s in-home tutoring program is designed to meet the specific requirements and interests of our students, and tutors are carefully matched to suit each child.
Contact us for a free consultation.