Use This Simple Approach When Helping At-Risk Students


At-risk students face a myriad of challenges that may hinder their academic and personal growth. As educators, mentors, and policymakers, it is crucial to provide tailored support to help these students overcome the obstacles they encounter. This article will highlight a simple, yet effective approach when it comes to assisting at-risk students in their journey towards success.

Identifying At-Risk Students:

Before diving into the approach, it is important to understand who at-risk students are. They can be individuals facing one or more risk factors such as low socioeconomic status, learning disabilities, lack of family support, language barriers, or other social and emotional issues.

The Simple Approach: Building Relationships

An often overlooked but powerful way to assist at-risk students is by building strong relationships with them. The following are some key elements of this simple approach:

1. Establish Trust:

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Start by creating a safe and nonjudgmental environment for the student to express themselves freely. This can be achieved by actively listening to their thoughts and concerns, showing empathy, and being consistent in your treatment.

2. Provide Emotional Support:

Many at-risk students may lack emotional support from their families or communities. Offer encouragement and validation to help them develop resilience and self-esteem. Acknowledge their strengths and accomplishments while also helping them navigate challenges.

3. Offer Academic Guidance:

Demonstrate genuine interest in the student’s academic progress by regularly checking in on their assignments and classroom performance. Provide resources tailored to their specific needs, such as tutoring or customized study materials.

4. Encourage Involvement in Extracurricular Activities:

Support the student in finding extracurricular activities that align with their interests and strengths. This not only provides an opportunity for socialization but also cultivates a sense of belonging within the school community.

5. Foster a Growth Mindset:

Encourage a growth mindset in at-risk students by helping them understand that intelligence and abilities are not fixed but can be developed through effort and persistence. Praise effort instead of innate talent, and teach them how to set realistic goals for themselves.

6. Stay Connected with Parents and Caregivers:

Maintain open lines of communication with the student’s parents or caregivers. Keep them informed about their child’s academic progress and any potential concerns. Collaborate to create comprehensive support strategies that cater to the student’s unique needs.


Assisting at-risk students might seem like a daunting task, but this simple approach of building relationships can make a significant impact on their lives. By fostering trust, providing emotional support, offering academic guidance, encouraging extracurricular involvement, instilling a growth mindset, and collaborating with parents and caregivers, you can help these students overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.