The support that remedial learners need to become leaders of the future
Remedial learners have often faced years of failure. Academically they have probably only known struggle and bad marks. Often they would have encountered mocking from more able students. This can range to gentle teasing to outright bullying.
All this usually leads to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.
For these and other reasons, remedial learners are in of need specific support. Any learner would benefit from the support we will mention in this article. For remedial learners, the needs are more acute and pronounced.
Remedial Learners and Anxiety
One of the most common challenges for those with learning challenges is anxiety. School years are tough for even the ablest student. The social pressures that teenagers face are very real. In the media-saturated world in which we find modern schools, these challenges are accentuated in ways that many parents don’t entirely understand.
For the special needs learner, this is amplified. Many students with learning challenges fear the loss of respect from their peers and teachers. Children with a learning disability tend to focus only on the negative aspects of schooling. They minimise their strengths.
Many of these children feel shame due to their special challenges. They often also feel resentment and frustration. The result: anxiety. The children affected often hold themselves responsible for things that are beyond their control.
When students are anxious they tend to focus all their energy on that anxiety and overlook the core problems. This is where the community – family and schooling – needs strategies to reduce the level of anxiety.
Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
Many teenagers struggle with self-image issues. This is the topic of many TV shows and movies about young people. These can be either for humorous or more dramatic effect. But the fact is they resonate with teens because they ring true.
Studies have shown that teens who are on social media a lot tend to be the most unhappy. There was a decades-long trend of seeing teenagers, in general, becoming happier overall, which suddenly shifted in 2012. This was the year that for the first time more than 50% of American teenagers had a smartphone. Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms have meant that teenagers can observe each as never before. The net result has been lower satisfaction and greater unhappiness.
For the teenager in need of remedial education, this is even worse. The teenage challenges of physical change and the journey of self-discovery become far scarier for these learners. Many fear that they might be “found out” as the “dumb kids.” Their peers are often posting about their accomplishments. Those with learning challenges feel as if they haven’t accomplished anything noteworthy. Many honestly believe that they have no strengths to develop.
Teenagers are already by-and-large insecure. For the remedial learner, it’s even harder.
The support that Remedial learners need
One of the main focuses for parents and teachers of children with learning challenges has to be to help them to help themselves. Parents and teachers have to equip these precious pupils with the skills to handle the anxieties they face. They must learn to overcome their challenges by themselves.
The goal must be more than school success. It must be lifetime success. We want to see these kids equipped to live the best life they are able, on their terms.
Here are four areas that can be developed in remedial learners to become the leaders of tomorrow.
- The starting point is helping the child to see that they do have strengths. They are good at things that their peers are not. Even their peers without any need for remedial education can’t do things that they can. By highlighting these skills passions can be developed. Feeling skilled and passionate in even one area, to begin with, can mean hard work and inspiration in areas of schoolwork.
- Teaching the remedial learner to be proactive is vital. As these learners are prone to low-self esteem and anxiety, it can be very difficult for them to ask for help. A safe home and school environment where they know they will be heard and not judged is vital to encourage them to speak up for themselves. This is the platform where they can learn to make their own decisions and take responsibility for themselves. A safe school and home should lead to confident children who can navigate a far less friendly adult world.
- Teaching a remedial learner to persevere is vital. With the challenges that they face giving up often seems to be the best option. The need to work longer and harder due to their obstacles in learning. This can be very daunting. These students will benefit from an environment that understands just how difficult it is for them to keep at their tasks. When they feel depressed and the lack of self-esteem is pressing in, they need support that doesn’t minimise their struggle. They also need support that lovingly won’t allow them to give up.
- Setting challenging but attainable goals is a life skill that many adults lack. It is a vital skill for children with remedial needs. Setting both short-term and long-term goals can be the difference between success and on-going struggle. The celebration of achieved goals is very important. A remedial environment that recognises their achievements will mean so much to these learners. While more traditional institutions might overlook what these learners have achieved, those equipped to support these students recognise when they have succeeded. This is invaluable support.
Learning to ask for help
We have identified that stress and anxiety are often close at hand for kids in need of remedial support. We have also seen how difficult it is for them to ask for help. These accentuated challenges usually have at their root low-self esteem and lack of confidence.
For children with learning challenges, strong support systems are vital. These must be at home. Finding a school that forms part of that support system would be very important too. From these support bases, good relationships must be cultivated. It is from this caring and secure place that these students will learn to ask for help when they need it. Successful people know how to ask for help when they need it.
Coping with stress and anxiety
Being able to cope with stress is another key life skill that many people from all walks of life struggle with. Remedial learners can develop these skills. They will be able to overcome life’s challenges.
Being in an environment that understands the particular challenges for remedial learners is so key to assisting them to learn to cope with their fears. Developing a healthy self-image and teaching them the value they hold is important. Knowing that they are valued and not demeaned will go very far in reducing anxiety and stress. Developing the skills for stress management will set them up for success in life.
A caring school environment which supports the needs of these learners is invaluable. Those schools equipped to cater to the needs of remedial learners know how important routine and a calm environment are. These same principles at home will help the learners to cope with the stresses they face.
Japari loves students with these special needs
Japari is a school equipped to assist learners with special needs. We have insight from years of experience with remedial students. We will do everything we can to help these children become the successes we know they can be. We want to be there to help the parents of these learners become part of the solution.
Seeing these children develop their strengths, overcoming their insecurities and low self-esteem is a special type of joy. We love being part of the solution. It is wonderful to come alongside parents, giving the learners and the families the support they need.