Engaging and motivating students to learn, along with classroom
management, is probably the biggest challenge teachers face today. How
can we make our students actually enjoy what we teach and be engaged in
the classroom? Moreover, how can our job make them motivated enough to
learn on their own?
For starters, let us try to remember ourselves as students. If we
stop to think about it, we will realize that we have many things in
common with our students today, even though a lot has changed since we
were in school. However, we always remember the subjects for which we
had the best and the worst teachers. That is probably because what
really draws our attention and gets us involved in learning is how
meaningful what we are learning is to us. Does it “speak” to us in any
way? How important is it to our lives? What are we going to do with it?
How can we apply it to our lives?
The role of the teacher in engaging students and making the subject
meaningful consists of, basically, enabling students to find the answers
to these questions in what we teach them. When we are successful
engaging students in what we teach, we can see their growing motivation
day by day.
In order to do that, teachers themselves must be involved with what
they are teaching. Otherwise, how are you going to make your students
fall in love with something that does not do anything for you? We have
selected some tips that can help you engage your students:
Student engagement happens through communication
Students can sense when we are genuinely interested in they have to
say, in what they like and do not like, in how they learn best. If I am
able to show them I care, there is not much else that needs to be done.
Listening is also the best way to truly get to know your students. Once
this happens, you will be able to suit your classes to their profiles
and make learning meaningful.
Student engagement depends on rapport
order to build rapport with your students, you must use your
personality, sense of humor and charisma. None of this is easy unless
you are genuinely willing to do it. Do not take for granted that
students will be involved in your classes just because they have to.
Give them reasons to do so. Rapport only happens when you are able to
make a positive connection with your students, based on their feelings
for you. It depends very much on honesty and openness, and it cannot be
Student engagement depends on your own engagement
As we said before, rapport leads to motivation. However, students can
easily read your feelings, and they will be able to tell whether you
are truly engaged in your classes or just there because they have to be.
Therefore, finding passion in what to do is key to fostering motivation
and engagement in your students.
What do you think? What else would you add to this list? Do you feel you're engaging your students?
Take a look at more ideas here and talk to us!