Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Four Ways to Engage Students, From the Students

Four Ways to Engage Students, From the Students

Since the day the first student was noticed to be uninterested in the subject matter, looking around the room for something more interesting like the radiator popping as it warmed up, teachers have been asking, "How can we get students eagerly-engaged?" I taught college Algebra so I understand.

Do remember a boring class? Do you remember a teacher who made a subject, which by nature was not interesting, appetizing? My English teacher was a magician. She actually got me so excited about conjugating sentences, I found myself doing it to Kennedy's, "Ask not what your country can do for you." This is TMI, but I also did it once with something someone wrote on the bathroom wall.

How do they do it? How do those teachers make class so cool, you can't wait to get there and when the bell rings, you say, "Oh no!"? I'm not a researcher so I don't have a paper on the subject, complete with "researchy" words, but, from experience, I can tell you, there are four things you can start doing right now that will begin to change things. How do I know those four things? All three come right out of the mouths of students. I've heard them talk. 

Before I list them, let me make one thing clear. The answer has little to do with you uncomfortable-morphing into a flailing clown who thinks he has to entertain to be heard.

One: "Class was fun."

Two: "The teacher showed me how to do things."

Three: "The teacher never gave up and kept telling me how I was doing."  

Four: "I got to use my talents in class."

How you pull this off is up to you; I'm just saying.


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