Schools and teachers have an essential job in educating students, and schools can do much more than just help students pass standardized tests. Good schools can help students tap into their potential, find their calling, and become productive and responsible members of society. A well-planned curriculum is paramount to achieving this end and providing a healthy path to graduate successfully.
However, many factors can impede a student’s learning between enrollment and graduation. Unless students can navigate these hurdles adequately, keeping up with their classes can become a struggle. Exploring each of these factors, whether internal or external, helps teachers lend a helping hand. So, what impacts a student’s learning? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Experienced and Qualified Teachers
A teacher’s qualifications and experience make them stand out. They know how to engage a classroom and work with students ensuring everyone can keep up. Unless students get included in class discussions, given the space to improve, and motivated to do better, it can become hard to focus and learn.
This is one area of life where qualifications cannot be dismissed. Degrees and courses help teachers become more refined at their job. Skills such as leadership, lesson designing, and management only come to educators when they’re willing to learn. So, completing advanced programs such as a C&I Masters in Leadership degree helps teachers learn all about a classroom through proper curriculum restructuring.
Taking an online degree to learn how to design, implement and manage a curriculum can fit into your lifestyle with minimal disruption. The upsides are tremendous – students will be positively impacted, begin to enjoy attending their classes and maximize their learning.
2. Learning Disabilities
According to a health careers blog, one in five children in the US has a learning disability. These disabilities range from auditory and visual processing troubles to being on the spectrum. Examples include ADHD, dyslexia, and autism. Learning disabilities can make it hard for students to do their work or stay focused on their lectures, drastically impacting their emotional and mental health. However, schools with teachers specializing in learning disabilities can help students catch up.
Learning disabilities need proper accommodation. For instance, schools need to arrange for different text boxes with more prominent font colors or dedicate a classroom to the pupil. Without these arrangements, it can become challenging for the student to learn, which is not fair.
For example, ADHD can make the student hyper-fixated on one topic or focus on nothing at all. They may be jittery, anxious, and even talk about different issues at one time.
When schools make special arrangements, it can help to keep the student on track. Teachers should also anticipate excellent and bad learning days and adjust accordingly. Progress may be slow, but will be inevitable, as long as educators put in the time and effort required.
3. Socio-Economic Conditions
There is much diversity within students and their backgrounds. Not everyone hails from the same household. While some may come from wealthy households, others may be well below the poverty line. Students coming from affluent families have the edge over their peers.
A study by Georgetown dives more into the disparity in privilege in kindergarten students. They stated that only 3 out of 4 low-income but high-performing kindergarteners had a chance to become wealthy. In comparison, over 90% of affluent students kept their status no matter the score. This divide continues to make its presence felt, even when a student pursues higher education.
Students with affluent families often come from a lineage of decorated careers. These students get all their basic and educational needs met and have access to resources to supplement their education. At the same time, students coming from impoverished backgrounds find it hard to cope with limited resources even though they need literacy to fight poverty.
While it’s unfortunate, students with struggling families may be more prone to domestic violence and unstable households. These can hinder their progress at school and make it difficult for them to study properly and need to be accounted for.
4. Mental Health Issues
Mental health plays a vital role in learning. Students who have mental health issues such as depression, anger management, and anxiety may have trouble with school. When students’ mental health is in bad shape, they tend to lose focus, zone out, or even skip school. The longer they ignore their mental well-being, the more the effects trickle into their physical bodies, making them lose focus.
Various circumstances can make a student mentally distressed. Some may inherit the condition, while others develop it at school due to excessive bullying. In some instances, students can get anxious when falling behind and cannot cope with the workload. Without professional help, it can become difficult for a student to continue.
5. Language Issues
Children moving around is not unusual, but schooling can get complicated when they move further from their native home into a foreign country. For example, attending a school where the medium of instruction is English can be hard for children who are first-generation immigrants. In such cases, they may need to take extra help to learn the language before they can succeed.
At the same time, some students have trouble grasping the language due to their disabilities. So they may not comprehend lessons, lectures, or even retain them. Without an adequately qualified teacher, these students may continue struggling.
6. Parent’s Background
To flourish, students need their parents’ support and help with their schoolwork. When assigned homework, parents are required to come to the rescue. Children coming from households with parents not educated enough or not educated have trouble with their schoolwork. It may take them longer to complete tasks or submit projects.
But, there is another side of the picture, too. Students from well-educated and adjusted families have parents who can quickly help and teach the child. The disparity in knowledge makes one student excel while inhibiting the other. Teachers need to be aware of this and act accordingly.
A student can accomplish learning goals when more factors are in their favor than against. That is why it’s important to know what benefits students and makes education hard for them. Students come from various backgrounds and experience different environments. From a schooling perspective, good teachers can help them study better and manage their challenges with disabilities.
On a personal and domestic level, students with mental health issues, less educated parents, language barriers, and poor socio-economic conditions falter immensely. The only saving grace is for schools and parents to come together, find solutions, and implement them as policies for students.