The goal of teaching LD students is to make information, etc., accessible, but there is a risk of becoming too eager to give “help” when these students struggle. The result is a cluster of students who plead for help even when they can succeed without it, who throw their hands up at the slightest sign of struggle, who demand assurance after every thought, who insist that the teacher stand beside them while they work, just in case.

Realizing that I could do more to discourage such dependency, I’ve adopted a new habit of stalling when certain students ask for help with their work. I protest that it will take me some time to finish what I’m doing and that they should solve the problem as best they can without me—even if they’re unsure—and that we’ll discuss how they solved it when I make my way over to them. Or, at the very least, that they should skip that problem and move on rather than sitting immobile, waiting for teacher.

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