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How can teachers help students who have ‘fallen behind’ whist learning at home?

How can teachers help students who have ‘fallen behind’ whist learning at home?


Independent learning is not for everybody. Some students have really struggled to maintain motivation levels and keep up with school work at home. It is now vital that these students who have fallen behind with the curriculum are able to receive the help they need to achieve their target grades and gain the knowledge their peers independently learnt.

Identifying students who require extra help is needed. Keeping a close eye on your class should ensure these students do not fly under the radar.


The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work:

Within the education sector it is well known that the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work. But during the pandemic, the gap between the students able to learn independently and those who have struggled is widening. Traditionally, teachers plan lessons that can be modified to suit the style of learning a student prefers or benefits the most from. This means that some students are able to take the lesson deeper and gain a better understanding of a subject.


Incorporate student’s interests during a lesson:

Try setting a project that allows students to apply their interests to the tasks. For example: Writing a short story – Students should be able to choose the topics they’re interested in and apply those interests to the task in question. This will help to motivate the students who have fallen behind more.


More 1:1 time:

Whilst social distancing measures make it difficult for tutors to teach on a 1:1 basis, utilising technology could be the answer. A good classroom management software, like AB Tutor offers the ability for students to share screens and files with tutors.


Feedback is important:

Gaining regular feedback is a must. If students can provide teachers with feedback after every lesson, teachers will have a better understanding of the students who are struggling. A current strategy used within a standard classroom is the holding up of cards or hands. AB Tutor takes this further by allowing students to submit lesson feedback in the form of a traffic light system. This allows for personal feedback during or at the end of a lesson. Students are able to answer with a simple green, amber or red without their peers knowing the colour submitted.

Set goals:

Helping students to set goals is important. Goals can be designed to give students early wins and help them develop belief in themselves. Self-belief and self-confidence for early life development is paramount, especially for young people who have spent the past year isolated. Encourage students to write clear and measurable goals and create a specific action plan for each goal. Students should then regularly reflect on progress to see if they are on target.


Gently ease back into school life:

After months of learning at home, students would have developed a routine when it comes to learning. This routine will now need to be altered to abide by school safety guidelines and an increase in face to face learning. Changing a routine suddenly can be very tiring for anybody, so it’s important to ease students back into school life gently. This could mean allowing more break time, or incorporating regular breaks between tasks. The style of task should also be looked at, allowing for a mixture of independent work and group activity.


Social skills:

The social skills of children during the pandemic are suffering. It’s important to encourage more discussion or conversation within the lesson. Help to build your students’ confidence again and overcome fears of conversing with their peers.