18 Ways to Teach Struggling Learners to Wait on Assistance From the Teacher

Are you looking for strategies to teach struggling students to wait on assistance from the teacher? If so, keep reading.

1. Give the student an easily grasped list of consequences for unacceptable behavior.

2. Increase supervision (e.g., by the teacher, a peer, etc.) of the student to let intervention happen before the student exhibits troublesome behavior.

3. Get the student to question any directions, explanations, or instructions before starting a task to reinforce comprehension.

4. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Highly competitive learning activities may cause the student to feel anxious and have difficulty waiting for assistance from the teacher.

5. Talk about the student’s behavior with them in private rather than in front of others.

6. Make sure that the learning activities in which the student engages are not too complicated for him/her.

7. Do not place an emphasis on perfection. If the student feels they must live up to your expectations and cannot, it may cause them to become impatient while waiting for assistance.

8. Closely supervise the student to monitor their behavior at all times.

9. Assess the degree of task difficulty to ascertain whether the student will require additional information, time, assistance, etc., before starting a task.

10. Display needed information in a readily accessible place (e.g., bulletin board, desktop, etc.), to decrease the student’s need for assistance from the instructor.

11. Create alternative learning activities for the student to perform when waiting for assistance from an instructor (e.g., check work already finished, look at a magazine, organize work area, begin another task, etc.).

12. Provide visibility to and from the student while they wait until assistance can be given. The instructor should be able to see the student, and the student should be able to see the instructor. Make eye contact possible at all times.

13. Provide oral communication with the student until assistance can be given (e.g., “Thank you for waiting quietly. I’ll be there shortly.”).

14. Teach the student to use techniques that limit the need for teacher assistance (e.g., refer to prior math problems for models, use reference learning materials as a source for answers, etc.).

15. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

16. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

18. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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