How to help the weak third? Winning strategies!

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through Jean Desjardins and Isabelle Senécal, Sainte-Anne College

At a recent professional development activity at Collège Sainte-Anne, teachers were asked to reflect on their less traditional ways of supporting their students, and then attempt to communicate them to their colleagues in all subjects who expressed their interest. We will introduce you to some of these strategies in a series of articles.


How can we help our students with fragile results to overcome their difficulties? Recuperation, Saturday lessons and tutoring are the means often set up in schools to try to support them. Despite these measures, year after year, a portion of our students will encounter situations of failure. We must therefore admit that we do not meet the more specific needs of our students.

Different factors could explain this phenomenon: a different level of cognitive development for everyone, demotivation in the face of the subject, stress of performance, overly uniform courses and evaluations which fail to allow all young people to actualize their potential, difficulties in French , etc.

To this end, a recent educational trip to Finland allowed our class director of 5e secondary school, Mr. Michel Twigg, to discover models of schools such as the Rajamaki High School which really prioritize the so-called “weak third” students.

"Weak third party", the expression is interesting. Of course, we will be careful not to vary our expectations according to the normal curve where 2 students do remarkably well and as many students fail. Rather, it is a matter of developing and systematizing the pedagogical actions that would best support the pathways of the learners who need us the most. We believe we can make a difference. During a professional development activity at the College, we asked teachers to think about their less traditional ways of supporting their students, then to try to communicate them to their colleagues in all subjects who expressed their interest.

In turn, we list them in a series of articles, the first of which will appear on Monday.

And you, what are your strategies to help your weaker students without penalizing the stronger?



Consult the different articles in this dossier!

Please note! The English translation of this text is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)