Not all young people can be those “A” students that know it all and always strive for new heights. Some of them fail.
The PsychCentral reports that “the U.S. has a 30 percent rate of students failing to graduate high school. But the really upsetting data is that in urban settings typically 50 to 70 percent of the students fail to graduate!” Why does it happen?
There are many possible reasons for it. There are many distractions, fear of failing, a habit of procrastination, a perspective that everything will be brought to them at school, and a lack of ability to analyze things and look at them critically.
Strategies can be taught to help students overcome these obstacles. However, the fact that some students fail does not mean that they cannot succeed in life. On the contrary, history offers us many examples of people who succeeded even without straight As.
Steven Spielberg was not accepted to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts several times in a row. Dick Cheney dropped out of Yale only to become a vice president at the right time.
And even Thomas Edison was called “too stupid to learn anything” by his teacher, the Business Insider states.
However, these people never stopped. They knew that failing at school does not mean that they cannot reach anything in real life. As a result, they turned out to be real history-changers.
And so can your students as long as you show them that failing at school does not mean that they will not be able to succeed in life. Check out our effective tips on how to help students succeed in life even if they fail at school.
How to Help Your Students Succeed in Life
1. Reward their attempts to succeed.
It is not only about achieving the best results, but it is also about doing your best to reach the goal.
This approach stimulates the growth mindset which, as the surveys have shown, leads to better results and more accomplishments in the long-term. Students that struggle to do their best are more likely to succeed in life than those who seem to deal with tasks without problems, as they know what hard work means and are diligent enough to perform better than their peers.
Therefore, encourage your students as they go and praise the process as well as the accomplishments. If they move slowly but steadily and come up with ideas that are good, tell them they are doing a great job.
The thing is they might not become geniuses, but they will definitely succeed if you encourage them.
2. Discover their talents.
Schools should be a place where people get to discover their talents and put them to action. See what students love doing and do well, what qualities and strengths make them unique, and encourage those skills.
Consider the multiple intelligences. Howard Gardener has discovered eight different abilities and each person can have them in different quantities.
Thus, some kids can have logical-mathematical abilities developed while others have better musical-rhythmic abilities. Give them praise and encouragement to continue working on those in which they are naturally talented, and help them to develop skills in those where they may not already excel.
Help students see their talents and guide them to where they can apply them well – and you can ensure that they will become successful people in the future.
3. Help them self-reflect.
There is always a way to get your students to reflect on their learning process regardless of what age they are. An ability to analyze the situation and see why exactly you may have failed to succeed is a key to future success.
For example, if a student failed to hand in an essay on time, talk to them and ask questions that will lead them to learn what they can do better next time. Help them to get to the core of the problem. Was it because they got distracted? Was it because the questions were not clear enough? What can they do to do well next time? In some cases, depending on the student, you may need to walk them through the process of reflecting on their mistakes.
Teach students how to think a little deeper than they are used to. However, be sure to prevent them from blaming other people for their own failures. They should realize that by prioritizing tasks correctly and getting a bit more disciplined, they can do better next time. This can also be a great time to teach students about responsibility. Being able to admit their own faults helps people succeed.
4. Teach them how to ask for help.
Collaboration and the ability to work as part of a team are paramount when it comes to success. And to help children to succeed in their lives and careers, you need to ensure that they know what it means to work in a team. You can run contests, start projects, and organize discussion groups – all in an attempt to show students how important teamwork is.
Moreover, you should emphasize that you are there to help them whenever they need it. In many cases, students don’t ask for help because they are not sure whether they will get any, but your students must know for sure that if they have questions or doubts, they can come to you.
You should not offer them ready-made answers, but guide them towards the right answers. This will help them gain confidence and come back if they need help again.
5. Give them an F if they earned it.
If, after all your efforts, a student still cannot manage some tasks, you should give them what they deserve. However, kindly explain to them that you are giving them this grade not because you see no potential in them, but because they can do much better if they try a little harder.
Letting them go to the next class knowing little to nothing about the subject is not good and can turn out to be a real disaster. Such a decision will teach this pupil that no matter whether they fail or not, you will only pity them and let them move on. So, why even bother trying harder?
That’s not the attitude you want them to acquire. So, if nothing else works, give them the grade they deserved and let them try harder the next time.
The problem is that in most states, teachers are not allowed to give this grade anymore, but if you are, do not consider this act as mean or merciless. You did your part of the job, encouraged them, helped them, motivated them to work in a team, gave them thesis statement examples, and showed how their talents can be used to succeed. Now it is their turn to take action.
Students who fail in class are not failures. And you can help them realize this. Growing up with a low self-esteem never helped anyone, so do your best to show these young people that grades are not everything and they can still succeed if they prioritize things in their lives and put their talents to action.
Lori Wade is a freelance content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!