How to Help the Reluctant Learner

How to Help the Reluctant Learner


You’ve had reluctant learners in your classes. You know these students. They sit in the back and try to ignore everything. Or they want to be the center of attention. They are often off topic and can create chaos in your classroom.


We specialize in reluctant learners. We want to appeal to the person who didn’t like school, may have felt like a failure in school and who never ever wants to be in a classroom again. We want all of our students to be successful in the workplace and in life.


We use a variety of methods to help these students. Here are 5 great tips.


1. Environment
Our classrooms are visually stimulating. When you walk into our classroom you know you’re not in high school anymore. We like to make a great first impression on our students. This is not the same old classroom. We use specific decorations as focal points for exercises and as continual reminders of the 4 personality types – a foundation of our program. (When you purchase a Smart Work Ethics Facilitator Kit you will receive everything you need to create this different kind of learning environment.  It is also included in our Train the Trainer series.)


2. Learning Styles
We appeal to all learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Kinesthetic students often have problems in traditional classrooms. These students prefer experiential learning and can be very successful in the right careers, such as manufacturing, construction, welding or plumbing. We use exercises, activities and we move our students around to keep them involved.


3. Relevancy
We make the material relevant to each student. We don’t expect our students to “figure out” how to apply the information. We use classroom discussion and exercises to help our students internalize the knowledge and to make it useful on the job.


4. Reinforcements
We use immediate reinforcements: both verbal and concrete. We want our students to know what they are doing right. Reinforcements help us draw out those students in the back of the room and help us redirect those students who are acting out. The reinforcements help students realize that appropriate behaviors on the job lead to paychecks, raises and promotions.


5. Respect
We treat our students with respect and expect them to demonstrate respectful behavior in the classroom. We invite lots of class discussion. We know that by listening we are demonstrating a respectful attitude.


You might be thinking that we are going to a lot of trouble to reach these kids and you are right.


Our students are usually less advantaged youth and we believe that the extra effort we are making is more than worth it if we can help these youth have better lives. Although our classes are motivational, our main goal is to help our students understand what businesses expect. We give our students practical information and specific strategies so that they can implement successful behaviors on the job.


A small training effort can have a huge life impact for your students.  And we can help.  Check out or reach us at

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