Congratulations! You’ve made it to Thanksgiving Break!
Yes, the students are rowdier than ever, parents still aren’t cooperating, and your administrators keep piling up paperwork on you, but you’re still going. You haven’t quit. Although, you’ve probably thought about it once, twice, or fifteen times. But you’re still here and if you’re really all about the students, you still want what’s best for them.
So, how do you make the best of the remaining school year? What is a best practice that you can use to engage your students in the learning process so that they become the best students they are capable of becoming?
Involve them! Sounds so simple, and it is!
Real learning is not what you do in the classroom, but rather it is the takeaways and knowledge your students conclude from your lessons. Involving your students by creating lessons and activities that are relevant to them will cause them to be engaged. Remember, if students can’t relate to the content, why would you expect them to be interested in it?
Think about yourself. If you’re not interested in something, you don’t spend time on it. Our students are the same way. Realize then that you have the power to craft lessons and create a classroom environment that will cultivate student participation. If something hasn’t been working, you don’t have to keep doing it. You can:
Try something different.
Act on your ideas.
But don’t forget that your connection with your students is vitally important. A great lesson and idea without a student/teacher connection accomplishes little.
Creating a positive connection with students who have different norms and values may be hard. Designing lessons and finding articles for your lessons that are relevant to your students may take time, and we already know how much little time we have.
Teaching isn’t easy. That’s not fake or breaking news. However, teaching gets a bit more difficult when you truly want to make a difference in the lives of your students. Especially, when it seems there are countless challenges and obstacles standing in your way.
As educators, it’s great that we want our students to do better and improve, but the best way for them to improve will always be when we first improve ourselves. When we learn, study and adjust, we become better for our students and in turn, they become better as well.
This advice can be applied to any organization you’re a part of: If you want to improve your team, school, church, family; improve yourself.
It’s not about trying to be better than anybody else. It is about never ceasing to be the best you can be.
The best you can be. You owe it to you and you owe it to the people you lead and serve.