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Indicator 42 – Encourages Reluctant Students

Interacting With Students

Encouraging Participation

Indicator 42 - Encourages Reluctant Students UETS 2a., 7a., 7h.

Effective teachers recognize those who are not participating or volunteering their comments, and patiently solicit their involvement in lessons without embarrassment. Reluctant learners need to be both challenged and supported in a safe environment. Effective teachers use instructional approaches designed to maximize the possibilities for engagement.


  1. Call on students who do not raise their hands to volunteer answers. Don't neglect those who volunteer answers enthusiastically, but be sure that you let all students know their responses are important and appreciated.
  2. Make your reaction to students' responses as positive as possible.
  3. Structure questions to appropriately guide a reluctant student to be able to participate. Consider the learner’s comfort level and ability to answer specific requests.
  4. Begin a lesson with an activity that uses strengths of reluctant students.
  5. Before calling on students to answer a question give them the opportunity to talk about it with a partner or group. This allows the reluctant student to listen and formulate a response.
  6. Allow students to check their answers with a peer before offering them to the whole class.

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