Originally written by Matt Madsen and posted on: https://mindfish.com/blog/navigating-high-school-how-to-approach-teachers-for-extra-help-and-more/
High school presents a wide variety of challenges for students. Let’s face it: over the course of four years, chances are pretty slim that everything will go perfectly. With increasing academic demands, extracurricular activities, and social commitments, it’s not uncommon for students to struggle in certain classes or at different points in a class throughout the school year. When you find yourself facing difficulties in a particular subject, it’s crucial to seek help and take advantage of the resources and opportunities your teachers can offer. In this blog post, we will explore how high school students can approach their teachers for extra help in a class and discover additional opportunities and resources that teachers can provide.
Initiate Open Communication
The first and most important step in seeking help or additional resources from your high school teachers is to establish early, open communication with them. Your teachers want you to succeed, and they are morse than willing to assist students who demonstrate resilience, determination, and a genuine interest in their education. Here are some tips to initiate open communication:
- Attend office hours: Many high school teachers have designated office hours when they are available to answer questions and provide extra help. Make an effort to attend these sessions. In addition, interacting with your teachers outside of class will help develop those relationships. If you get the sense that your teacher doesn’t like you, go to their office hours and give them the chance to get to know you better. If you’re struggling with how your teacher presents topics in class, try to keep in mind that your teacher is trying their best to accommodate every student in your class simultaneously, which is an incredibly difficult task. It’s likely that attending office hours prepared with specific questions to discuss will allow your teacher to better understand and cater to your needs, and some of what your teacher learns about your learning style might even make it into classroom lessons.
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions during class if something is unclear. Chances are, if you have a question, others do too. If there isn’t time during class or you’re having a hard time overcoming the anxiety that comes with not understanding a topic, jot down your question for another time. This could be after class ends, before the start of your next class, during office hours, or in an email.
Seek Extra Help
When you’re struggling with a specific subject or concept, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for extra help. They may offer the following:
- One-on-one tutoring: Many teachers are willing to provide one-on-one tutoring sessions to help you understand the material better.
- Review sessions: Some teachers hold review sessions before exams or important assessments. Attend these sessions to reinforce your knowledge.
- Additional resources: Teachers may recommend books, websites, or other materials that can help you with your studies.
Take Advantage of School Resources
In addition to seeking help directly from your teachers, high schools typically offer various resources and opportunities to support students academically. Here are some examples:
- Academic support centers: Many schools have academic support centers where students can receive tutoring and access additional learning resources.
- Peer tutoring: Some high schools have peer tutoring programs where older students assist younger ones with their coursework. If your school doesn’t have a peer tutoring program, consider asking the smartest student in class to help you out. Better yet, why not start a peer tutoring program at your school? This would be a great idea for a senior project, and it would provide an easy way for students in groups like the National Honor Society to complete community service hours.
- Homework clubs: Homework clubs provide a structured environment for students to work on assignments, ensuring that they receive help when needed. Alternatively, ask your friends in class if they would like to form a study group and meet regularly each week.
Explore Extracurricular Opportunities
High school teachers often organize or advise extracurricular activities related to their subjects. These activities can be both fun and educational, and they provide a chance for you to excel in the subject outside the classroom. Here’s how to get involved:
- Join clubs or teams: Many high schools have subject-specific clubs, like science clubs, math teams, or debate clubs. These can be great ways to deepen your knowledge and connect with like-minded peers.
- Competitions and contests: Teachers can inform you about local, regional, or national competitions related to their subjects. Participating in such events can be both a learning experience and an opportunity to showcase your skills.
- Enrichment programs: Some teachers may recommend or organize enrichment programs, summer camps, or field trips related to their subject matter.
High school teachers are not just there to deliver lectures; they are valuable resources to support your academic journey. By establishing open communication, seeking extra help, utilizing school resources, and exploring extracurricular opportunities, you can make the most of your high school experience and receive the support you need to succeed in your studies. Remember, teachers are dedicated to helping you reach your potential, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them when you need assistance.