Patience is Key

By: Megan Prats


The journey of learning is very similar to the journey of life – it is long, onerous, filled with ups and downs, and rewarding only if hard work and dedication is devoted to it. Students of all ages and all abilities must struggle during the learning process, otherwise they are not exiting their comfort zone and thus they are not learning new things. This struggle is naturally uncomfortable to teachers because a struggling student is not a happy student and therefore teachers are naturally inclined to provide the struggling student the answer to make the student more comfortable. However, because this struggle is imperative to the learning process, my advice to you is – Patience is Key.

Students learn best when they figure things out for themselves. Thus, your job is to guide the student to the answer vía questions and discussion, instead of just feeding the student the answer. Students who are fed answers will not go through the struggle of learning voluntarily because it is just easier to get the answer and then move on. However, if they do not struggle, they do not grow, and thus they do not learn.

During lessons, you should have the student solve problems on her own, no matter how long it takes, how many mistakes the student makes along the way, or how frustrating the process is. In order for the student to learn for herself, you must resist the urge to give the student the answer, and thus be more patient with the student. This is easier said than done. However, with some awareness and effective strategies to implement patience with the student, drastic changes can be made with little effort.

For you to be more patient with the student, you must first be aware of those emotional triggers that cause impatient actions. These emotional triggers include such things as: anxiety, frustration, and boredom. Once you realize that you are experiencing one of the aforementioned emotions, you can expect for an impatient action to follow.

Next, you must act in order to be patient in the moment. Some things that you may do to help yourself be more patient is to take deep breaths, tell yourself that no harm will come to you if the student doesn’t arrive to the answer immediately or if the student makes a mistake, and tell yourself that you are doing a good job by not giving the student the answer.

Although it seems counterintuitive and difficult at times, patience is really key in furthering the learning process. You can be more patient with the student by being aware of those emotional triggers that cause impatient actions and then act in order to be patient in the moment. Trust me, a patient teacher and a frustrated student is a good thing!

© Megan Prats 2013

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.