Here are some great ideas to mill around your head now and throughout the year. Consider how they can be adapted to your own classroom and teaching situation and please add comments to share your ideas. ~EMP
As the start of the school year arrives, students fly through the classroom doors unsure of what to expect, while teachers wait excited for what a new class of inspired minds will contribute. But as the weeks go on throughout the school year, students many times loose that initial burst of excitement over the possibilities of what they can achieve and become more apprehensive over tests and the social pressures they face. As a teacher, you want to keep your students engaged all year round, but there are many challenges that make this difficult.
To help, here are a few tips for how to boost a child’s passion for learning all year long.
Provide incentives to study
Report cards and progress reports can take too long to come out to incentivize students to study with high semester grades. Instead, incentivize your students each week to study. For example, have a game each Friday that students can play based on the teachings from that week. The team that wins can be rewarded with a candy, or a bonus score toward their final grade.
Pop quizzes are also another great way to encourage students to study year round. If they forget, their grades will tumble, but when they continuously study and are encouraged to truly learn the material, they are more likely to succeed and be happy when it comes to unannounced quiz times.
Social pressures are one of the biggest challenges facing school children. But when they work together in a team, they are more likely to overcome these challenges and have more fun not only while learning, but also just by being in the class.
Create assignments that teams can work on together throughout the semester. By having team learning time, it breaks up the monotony of lectures and encourages students to teach and learn from each other. This socialized learning becomes fun and motivates them to want to be more knowledgeable so they can impress their peers.
Set attainable goals
Many times, teachers set very high goals to encourage their students to reach higher and exceed their own expectations. But when students are consistently met with the feeling that they have disappointed their teacher and classmates, they can be left feeling demotivated and frustrated causing them to separate from the subjects taught in the classroom.
While goals are always important to set for students, it is equally important to create small milestones toward those goals that are achievable. This feeling of making progress will give the students a boost of self-esteem and encouragement to move ahead toward their end goal. This new confidence is what will prove to them that they are more capable than they think, and allow them to reach the end result that you know is possible.
Coach after hours activities
Many students have the philosophy of work hard, play hard. Studies show that students who have a balance between extra-curricular activities and school work are more motivated to do well for themselves. This self-motivation to excel at each activity leads them to be more encouraged to want to learn.
As a teacher, by teaching in the classroom and coaching an extra-curricular event, you too will be seen as more well-rounded and students will be naturally drawn to respect your authority over your subject more. This coaching will also show your support for extra-curricular activities making you look less classroom focused, which in turn makes students put extra importance on what you have to say because they are aware of your own ability to balance class and life.
Mix up your teaching style
Classrooms are filled with students who each respond differently to various teaching methods. To get the most out of each of your students, mixing up the mechanics with which you teach material will help. For some, writing helps to retain more information, for others listening, and for others watching videos. Keeping the classroom interactive and dynamic will make class time more exciting and encourage students to want to learn more.
You put a lot of love into your job and keeping your students motivated not only keeps you motivated but provides tremendous happiness in your position. Use these tips to have a more well-rounded classroom and keep your students motivated year round.
Aileen Pablo is part of the team behind Open Learning Australia, one of Australia’s leading providers of Distance education. When not working, Aileen blogs about education and career.She is often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines.If you have a blog and would like free content. You can find her on Google+.