Maintaining and raising student engagement in the classroom is a persistent challenge for teachers. Today, I’ve invited Kiara Miller from The Speakingnerd to share her ideas on how teachers can keep students focused and stimulated during lessons.
This blog post has been beautifully illustrated by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongphati
Learning and engagement are complementary to each other. As teachers, we would agree that learning seems much harder when students are not engaged. Besides, the world is moving towards massive digitalization in education. This dictates a new trend in education, and online classes have become the new normal. Having said that, the challenge of fostering student engagement in online or hybrid modes seems much more complex.
However, that is exactly what great teachers do. Teachers are resilient to challenges and come up with a firm solution to every problem. Moreover, as teachers, cultivating high learning engagement in the classroom is largely our responsibility. The bottom line is that the more you understand your students the more remarkable the engagement you can foster.
However, looking at the broader picture, we need a set of actionable strategies to engage our students effectively.
This is what this blog is all about. In this blog, we shed light on the various tactics that you can apply in the context of classroom management to encourage greater engagement. So, let us get started without further ado.
#1: Interact with your students
Gone are the days when a teacher used to deliver lectures to their students. That was one of the major factors that traditionally resulted in low engagement levels among children. As times have changed and the years have gone by, the classroom has become more of a two-way channel where both the students and teachers interact with each other. Along with teaching a lesson, teachers are now putting in efforts to make the classroom a more collaborative learning environment.
Considering this, you can also opt for establishing the same interactive learning environment in your classroom. For that, try to interact with your students while teaching, and ask open-ended questions. Let them explore the horizons of their minds while answering your question and give them the liberty to make mistakes.
#2: Share examples of their interests
Students tend to enjoy those learning sessions which consist of interesting examples. This way, they are able to better understand the links between the taught lesson and the real world. This tends to enhance their focus levels and keeps them engaged for a longer duration.
Keeping this in mind, you can make use of various examples when you are delivering lessons. However, you must ensure that the examples are well aligned with your student’s interests. This way, you would be able to keep your students fully indulged in the classroom.
For instance, if your students love talking about leadership, you can discuss various leadership theories with them to capture their interest. This is just an example of how you can get students to pay attention by discussing the topics they love.
#3: Give them a chance to share their ideas
As you know, children always have questions in their minds. This will further give rise to innovative ideas which they would want to share. Also, this can be used to harness their creative skills to a much greater extent.
So, you should always encourage your students to come up with different ideas. Once they have something new in their mind, ask them to share it with the class. If your students feel that their ideas are encouraged, this would tend to motivate them to think differently. As a result, they would most likely be engaged when you are teaching them.
Encouraging your students to express their thoughts and ideas is one of the best ways to keep them engaged in the classroom.
#4: Plan activities for the last 5 minutes
Young minds always take a keen interest in activities outside the classroom. Although it can be hard for you to take them outside while teaching, you can include some activities within your classroom environment. Once you are done delivering a lesson, take out the last 5 minutes for some activities with your students. You can play a quiz or a game, or you can ask them to present a topic of their choice. This way, such activities would keep your students engaged.
This can only be done through effective classroom management. Manage your time accordingly so that you can get some spare time for such activities.
#5: Allow them to learn in ways that are in alignment with their capabilities
Personalization is the new normal these days and the same applies to learning. One of the best teaching approaches in contemporary times is to offer personalized learning. Some students can easily grasp new concepts while others might need some additional time to understand the same material.
This is because every student has different capabilities and skills which affect how they learn. This is what you as a teacher need to acknowledge at all times. Keeping this in mind, teachers would need to mold their teaching styles to match the needs of each individual learner, as far as is reasonably possible.
However, it isn’t possible for a teacher to cater fully to every single educational need that is present in the classroom. So, the best way out of this problem is to provide them autonomy to learn at their own pace. This sort of strategy tends to make the learning process much easier and more flexible for the students. Also, it can lead to improved engagement levels among the class.
Providing your students with flexibility in learning can help you to keep them engaged.
#6: Make use of technology in your classroom
Technological advancements in the classroom have enhanced the learning experience for students. Now, with the incorporation of smart classroom technology, video sessions, artificial intelligence, and gamification methods, there are so many ways a teacher can deliver a lesson. Moreover, these technological advancements have kept students interested in learning new things.
Incorporating technological resources into your classroom can greatly improve the engagement levels of your students.
To conclude, keeping students engaged can be a whole lot of work for teachers. However, after creating an interactive environment within your classroom and providing children with the freedom to learn in a variety of different ways you can keep your students fully engaged in the classroom. Also, technological resources can further enhance their engagement levels.