Children can’t concentrate on anything for a prolonged period of time. They have a very short memory span. They need proper attention from their parents and teachers, especially in the start of new academic year. Of all the people, teachers are the ones who know best how to motivate their students to do well in the school.
Children spend a considerable amount of time with the teachers every day. Teachers have all the skills, knowledge and experience to help children excel in studies. They can also influence children in a way to not only perform well in school but achieve big in their life. Obviously, parents play a pivotal role in personal and academic development of their children but it is the teachers who are always on the front line, helping their students to understand and learn, right there in the classroom.
It is rather tough to keep students engaged in the classroom. Following are some tips to crack this hard nut easily.
- Praise Your Students:
Students need due recognition for their achievements, both big and small. You have to recognize their work and praise them in big and small ways. Send positive notes about them to their homes. Appreciate them in front of the class and encourage them to keep up the good work. Give away prizes to the hard working students on regular basis. You must do everything possible to acknowledge the accomplishments of your students.
- Wait and Expect Excellence:
It is imperative for you to realistic but smart goals for your students. They must have a clear idea of what you are expecting from them. Set short term goals and help them attain those goals one after another. You must also celebrate these achievements with your students.
- Spread Excitement Like a Jungle Fire:
You must have keen interest in the subject you teach. Use solid, appropriate and understandable examples to make it easier for students to grasp the concepts. Students must take interest in what you are teaching them. There is no point in monotonously uttering the words. Show some enthusiasm. Show your students that you love teaching and genuinely care for their development.
- Use Variety of Teaching Methods:
There are different types of learners in every class. Therefore, you have to use different types of teaching methods to meet everyone’s requirements. Using different methods to impart your knowledge to your students is the basis of differentiated learning. This will also help you maintain order in the class. In addition, students won’t get a chance to act up because they already know what is coming their way each day.
In a typical example, you will journal for 10 minutes to open the class followed by introducing the concept for 15-20 minutes. Discussion or group work and Q & A session can also last for up to 20 minutes.
- Classroom Jobs:
Every student in the class must do a certain job every week. It is better to create a list of jobs for every week and let students choose from it. There are different types of jobs you can assign to your students. They can range from updating the calendar to posting to the class blog, watching class pets, moderating review games and standard jobs like cleaning boards and marking the attendance etc. You should assign jobs based on students’ interests and skills.
- Delegate some Responsibility:
Students will have less opportunity to complain if you delegate some of your authority to them. Do survey of your class and find out what your students like the most, what truly excites them, what helps them learn and what they enjoy doing. You can also ask what do the usually do after the class or what excites them most at home. Create a list of multiple choice questions to avoid answers like “watching movies” or “nothing.”
After you receive the response from all of the students, guide a brainstorm session based on their ideas. It is an excellent idea to integrate those ideas in your daily lessons. You must also analyze how these ideas translate into the class. This will help your students tap into their creativity and passion while learning new things in the class.
- Track Improvement:
It is easier said than done especially in the ever difficult classes. It is an uphill task which most teachers fail to accomplish. However, you must make your students realize that they have come a long way and should not blow it out. Compare their performance at different times of the year, emphasize on continuous improvement and set realistic short term goals for them. Similarly, you can revisit the old lessons to help those students who struggled to master them.
- Reward Positive Behavior:
A lot has been written about rewarding positive behaviors of the students. You can also encourage positive behaviors by rewarding students outside the class. You can incorporate extracurricular activities, volunteer services and cultural experiences in your lessons as an alternative to assignments. You can also award extra credit for these activities. You can also write an article or essay appreciating their services to humanity or volunteering experience.
- Dream Field Trips:
You should leave it to the students to plan their field trips, depending upon the budget you have. You can offer extra cash incentives based on their good behavior or academic performance etc. Gradually move them up from a trip to a decent park to a trip to beautiful state capital to a week-long trip to a famous hill station. This will also help them analyze how they have been performing in the class.
- Incentive Programs:
There are many ways you can incent students to work hard and student empowerment is one such thing. You can give some sort of incentives to the students who never miss a class, abide by all the classroom rules and complete their assignments on time. For instance, allow such students to decide what will happen on every Friday. It is entirely up to them whether they want to study on Friday, watch a movie, go for outing, act out a scene or simply discuss their previous lessons.