5 Practical Ways Teachers Can Respond to, “I Don’t Get It.”


Teaching students with varying skills and abilities can be a challenging task for educators. One of the most common phrases a teacher will hear during class is, “I don’t get it.” Responding appropriately to this statement is crucial to helping students overcome their learning difficulties and ensuring that they grasp the concepts being taught. In this article, we will explore five practical ways teachers can respond to such situations to foster understanding and confidence in their students.

1. Re-explain using different techniques

One of the first steps to address a student’s difficulty in understanding a concept is by re-explaining it using different techniques or examples. Some students may require visual aids or tangible examples, while others might benefit from verbal explanations or step-by-step instructions. Putting the lesson into new contexts or relating it to real-world scenarios can also help students build connections and understand better.

2. Break down complex concepts

It’s essential to break down complex ideas into smaller, more manageable parts when teaching. This method allows students to tackle one aspect of the problem at a time instead of being overwhelmed by the big picture. Ensure that each part is explained clearly and precisely before moving on to the next section and provide opportunities for practice along the way.

3. Encourage peer collaboration

Creating an environment where students can work together to solve problems can significantly improve their understanding. Encouraging peer collaboration builds a sense of camaraderie among classmates and allows them to learn from one another’s unique perspectives and skills. This approach not only helps students who struggle with specific concepts but also boosts the confidence of those who can teach others about their areas of expertise.

4. Offer individualized support

Some students may feel more comfortable sharing their questions or concerns in a one-on-one setting with their teacher instead of a classroom filled with peers. Setting aside dedicated time for individualized support can be an essential tool in addressing students’ unique obstacles to understanding. You can offer additional help during class breaks, after school, or online to provide more personalized learning experiences for those in need.

5. Utilize continuous assessment and feedback

Continuous assessment and feedback are invaluable tools for monitoring student progress and adjusting instructional techniques accordingly. Reinforcing a student’s achievements and providing constructive criticism can help them target specific areas for improvement and increase motivation. Teachers can use various methods such as observations, quizzes, tests, or homework assignments to assess a student’s understanding of the material.


Teachers play a pivotal role in shaping a student’s educational journey. Adequately responding to the all-too-familiar “I don’t get it” is an opportunity to foster a nurturing and supportive learning environment that caters to different student needs. By employing these five practical strategies, teachers can help develop each student’s unique strengths and abilities while overcoming challenging concepts.