supporting teens, VCE EAL, VCE English

How to tackle a mental roadblock in your student

So you’ve figured out that your VCE English student is struggling with a mental roadblock – now is the time to tackle it!

Is it a mental roadblock or a skills roadblock?

read the previous post!

What are they feeling? Are they overwhelmed by the scale of the task? Do they feel lost with what do to? Can they manage their time appropriately?

Depending on what their struggle is, the following strategies may be helpful: 

  • If your teen is struggling with overwhelm, help them break down a large task (eg writing an essay) into very small steps (eg write a plan, write a topic sentence, find 5 quotes, etc). This will help make the task seem more manageable and achievable
  • Likewise, assign deadlines to each small task to help with time management/overwhelm so that they are kept on track, have clear, actionable, achievable goals to reach for
  • It is super important to help our teens take breaks so they don’t burn out! Assign breaks or switch tasks between completing steps so that they are not driven to the edge before they realise they’re going to crash and burn
  • Create formulas or structures for the student to follow so they are not overwhelmed by the choices they have to make. We want to walk the fine line between letting our students use their voice, and giving them enough technique to use their voice well

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