Education

What Good Teachers Do When Students Fail

There is a debate about whether the teacher or the parent is responsible for student academic failure. Despite the ongoing discussion, every good teacher should first self-check to know where the problem lies.

Self-assessment will help you as a teacher to improve your skills and eventually affect the academic performance of your students positively.

As a good teacher, you can’t sit down and do nothing when your student fails.

In this article, I will highlight a few things good teachers do when students fail. A good teacher is an expert in the course/subject that he/she teaches. However, having a good knowledge of the content does not automatically lead to a student doing well in the exam.

It is one thing to know the content, and it is another thing to know how to make your students understand the material. One of the sole purposes of a teacher is to cause his/her students to learn. And when your students lack the proper understanding of the subject matter, failure is inevitable.

Key things good teachers do when students fail

Look out for the cause of the failure: There is no way you can provide a solution when you don’t know the root cause of the problem. It is when you figure out why the answer will start to surface.

Look out for student feedback on their teaching style: Bruce Wilkinson said, “One of the ways to get your content to your students is through your style.” It is your style of delivery that will determine whether your lecture will be boring or not. If you bore your students always, you can’t expect them to perform optimally in exams. To get to know about the style of your teaching and how effective it is, try to read your students’ body language.

Bruce made some valid points on teaching style during one of his lectures. He said

  • Learning has more to do with style than content.
  • Teachers are to overcome boredom and fuss with class materials with style.
  • Using the unexpected to hold the attention of your students is the key to successful teaching
  • Bring the tools of variety to each class
  • Teaching Method controls learning 

A teacher must look out for these signs when teaching his/her students

  • No enthusiasm
  • Too predictable
  • No animation
  • No variation
  • No participation
  • No illustration
  • No eye contact
  • No motion

Charles Spurgeon said, “Don’t just throw seed at the people. Grind it into flour, bake it into bread, and slice it for them. And it wouldn’t hurt to put a little honey on it.”

Read: 9 importance of teacher-student relationships

Understand each of their student’s learning rates: All students don’t learn at the same pace. It is a teacher’s responsibility to use an approach that will make all students, regardless of their learning rate, understand the subject. A poor understanding of the subject leads to student academic failure. A good teacher is responsible for ensuring that his students understand his content.

Understand each student’s academic background: You can’t build any solid thing on the poor educational history of your student. From my experience, students with poor knowledge of mathematics may find physics difficult. There is a link between mathematics and physics. So, once you can build a solid background, then whatever you teach will stand. This approach will then lead to academic success for your students.

Know whether the failure is family-related: Some students are emotionally down due to the crisis they are going through in their various homes. They may be the product of broken homes, uncaring parents, etc. Students in this category may find it hard to excel in any exam. Every good teacher must look into this problem and find a way to help such students. My former boss will always say, “When your students fail, you are the one that fails.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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