School can feel like a student’s access to friends and socialization, or it can feel like a prison they attend five days a week. If you’re dealing with a student that struggles to concentrate through lessons, you might be wondering what you can do to improve the situation. Here are seven possible reasons to help jumpstart your attention span troubleshooting.
A lackluster classroom
A person’s surroundings can be inspirational, depressing, or downright anxiety-inducing. You’ll want to avoid putting too much on the walls or going overboard on the flashy colours, as this can end up being a distraction and make the room feel less comfortable.
The classroom decor should be eye-catching and pertain to the subject being taught. It should also have an interactive component, such as a poster with facts or quiz questions. Companies such as Sproutbrite provide classroom decor that pulls double-time in engaging and teaching students.
The curriculum is not geared to a student’s learning style
Psychologists have identified three primary learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Visual learners will respond to learning tools such as diagrams and class schedules. Auditory learners are good at storytelling, working in a group, and reading social cues. Kinesthetic learners work best when they are moving. These action-based students may learn from role-playing and games involving hand-to-eye coordination.
The student has insomnia
Insomnia is a medical condition that affects people at any age. Although you may think that a student would not have enough stress in their life to suffer from insomnia, this is not true. A parent or teacher should ask probing questions to determine if the child has trouble sleeping at night. Quality sleep is essential to learning, so if your student is dozing or otherwise fogged over during classes, it could be that they’re not catching the Zs they need.
The student has anxiety
Competition among students can be fierce both academically and socially. A student may have anxiety about their performance in class and have trouble concentrating because they are so worried. Students as young as fourteen may be thinking about their college careers. A child may also suffer from social anxiety, causing them to be obsessed with the way others think of them rather than concentrating on their studies.
Ensure students know that school success is not an indicator of their moral worth and refer any anxiety-ridden kids to the school counsellor for further guidance.
The students are in an overstimulating environment
Some students are distracted by their environment, even when others are not. Electronic devices and social media can also take attention away from what is taught in class. Implement a phones-off policy in class and a place for students to retreat when noise and light become overwhelming, such as a quiet corner or even the library.
The student has cognitive deficits
A student may appear not to be concentrating because they have an intellectual disability. These students may struggle academically because of an injury, a congenital disability, or complications during birth. There are tests that a doctor can perform to determine such a disability, so it may be worth an appointment with the child’s parents and the physician to discuss such concerns.
There is not enough interaction in the classroom
One of the reasons that a student may not be able to concentrate in classes is that a teacher is simply not making the subject they teach interesting enough. It is essential to interact with students and ask and answer questions. Students will concentrate better if they feel part of the learning process.
The best way to know what a student needs to concentrate is by talking to them. Kids are more self-aware than adults give them credit for and may already know what is distracting them. Listening to what someone has to say can be the best way to encourage them to listen to you in return.