I’m sure we can all admit we’ve felt small or nervous when seeking help. It’s the fear of seeming weak for not knowing how to approach a situation or being unaware of the answer. We don’t want to project a perception that we are needy by seeking clarification or admitting we don’t understand. But it’s nothing to be afraid of. In most cases, those individuals or superiors who we seek the clarification from are willing and ready to assist with whatever the query.
This fear of seeking assistance translates to the classroom and all the way to the workforce. For this reason, it’s important that our current students are validated for their concerns and questions of comprehension in the classroom, at home and throughout their tuition sessions.
Unfortunately, all and any students can be reluctant to approach teachers or individuals of authority or knowledge for help. The teacher may be polite and approachable, yet students put off the conversation or effort to consolidate their question.
Talking about the services that are available to help could assist in encouraging the student to speak up next time. By detailing all the options students can access, it takes the stigma away. Emphasising that the services are designed for that purpose is also a great way to eradicate the fears of seeking assistance.
Seeking assistance is important and in most cases, the teacher has the answer. Students often spend the time needed to complete the task worrying that they don’t know the criteria or what is being asked of them. Simple comments that validate the importance and need of asking for help will ensure students are comfortable to approach someone for assistance.
The classroom, whilst full of energy, can come with its own pressures. Competition amongst peers in the classroom can often increase those anxious thoughts of asking questions in a class surrounded by onlooking peers. Classroom environments that promote collaboration over competition encourage questioning amongst peers and consequently questioning with teachers.
But sometimes the classroom environment or onlooking peers are still too much. For those students, asking questions and seeking clarification in a more private one-on-one environment might suit their learning style best. Our tutors and their approach might be just the right environment for students to feel comfortable seeking assistance. Tutors can clarify and go over concepts, answer any impending or follow up questions and eradicate student’s fears of being needy or seeming incompetent.
Always remember it’s okay to stand up and ask for help, especially when it’s your own education and benefit on the line.