Tips for Engaging Today’s Students

  • The world we live in moves quickly, particularly for the contemporary student. As a teacher, how do you engage students? Because keeping students focused is becoming more difficult. But there is hope.

    As an institution, education has struggled to keep up with the needs of the contemporary student. Teachers must change the classroom environment and rethink traditional teacher and student roles, allowing students more say in what and how they learn.

    A vision of students today

    From social problems, poverty, boredom and media distraction, students today are less engaged.

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    Getting students to listen and learn requires a plan and some serious effort. Having all your students focused, eager, and on task at the beginning of class is tough enough. The bigger problem is keeping that attention while they are zoning out or sleeping. The good news, however, is that it is possible to accomplish this. Deep down, kids are still inquisitive. The trick is to break through the distraction and keep them in the zone.

    So how do you accomplish that?

    Getting students engaged

    Getting students engaged means creating and maintaining a physical environment that involves all students. And it means establishing a climate that promotes fairness and respect and promotes social development and group responsibility.

    Teachers need to draw on and value students’ backgrounds, interests, and developmental learning needs and modifying instructional plans to adjust for student needs when necessary.

    Establishing and communicating learning goals for all students is key. Understanding student interest is even more important.

    To be an inspiring teacher means understanding the notion that the best learning takes place when people feel part of a community that respects all learners. Since everybody perceives the world differently, information has to be presented in a variety of ways. Numerous methods should be used to process and present information, as each person has a unique way of connecting new information to what they already know.

    Flexibility in education

    It is important that educators develop an understanding of the need for a more flexible education and investigate and learn possible ways to create educational flexibility for students and teachers.

    This means participate in lessons, activities, and projects that are designed to demonstrate how to create classrooms and curriculum in which students are engaged in a flexible learner-centered collaborative classroom community.

    As a teacher you must demonstrate the ability to create a flexible curriculum and classroom environment that engages all students in a learner-centered classroom community that teaches the skills necessary to be successful in school and beyond.

    This could mean the following:

    • Flexible classroom environments
    • Flexible homework
    • Fieldtrip
    • Blended learning
    • Flexible project-based learning

    Learning reimagined

    There are a variety of instructional strategies and resources to respond to students’ diverse needs. These strategies are meant to facilitate learning experiences that promote autonomy, interaction and choice. Engaging students in problem solving, critical thinking, and other activities that make subject matter meaningful promotes self-directed, reflective learning for all students.

    As a teacher you might be thinking, how do I do this?

    The fact is, there are many resources available. Through powerful readings, dynamic discussions, and hands-on projects, educators can become invigorated and ready to create a more personal and flexible education for their students.

    A professional development course can put you on the right path.

    No one wants to play to a bored audience.