Most students go to school because it’s a requirement, not because they actually want to. Tell-tale signs that students are disinterested in class include showing up late and resting their heads on the desks. Unfortunately, when students aren’t engaged in the learning process, they don’t get much out of the learning experience and instead just do what they can to “get by.”
Every now and then, however, I get a student who’s a gem – not necessarily because that person is brighter or more intelligent than the other students, but because he (or she) finds joy in the process of learning.
I’ve found that the students who succeed in my classes are the ones who come for the right reasons. The ones who are delighted to be in class, love the process of learning and see it as an opportunity to improve rather than a chore or necessity.
As a teacher, it’s vital to bring a positive, uplifting mood to the classroom. It’s my job to provide the students with an environment that brings learning to life. A classroom that focuses on not only teaching the kids, but doing so in a fun, creative manner.
So then the question arises, how?
How do you form an environment that encourages learning in a creative, enjoyable, positive way – regardless of the subject? How can you help the students to become not only ready, but enthusiastic and eager to learn?
To do so requires effort from both me, as a teacher, and my students. Initially, it’s important to shift the motives of the student. We have to shift their mentality from “I’m coming here because my parents told me to,” to something like “I’m coming here because I enjoy learning.” This will arise the biggest change in the student – a shift in mentality completely changes their view on learning, and ultimately their actions.
I find that positive affirmation is extremely beneficial for a student’s self-esteem. Every opportunity I have, I give my students praise. This isn’t bogus praise – it’s real praise that students deserve. When they successfully solve a problem, or complete an assignment, I compliment the student. Not only does this make them feel good about accomplishing something, but it also encourages them to do the best they can.
Group work is also something I’ve noticed that has brought a lively attitude to the classroom. This can be group work with students, or also with other adults and teachers. Working in a group changes the dynamics of the classroom – 5 or 6 people working towards the same goal has an optimistic, supportive, rallying type of sensation that gives a sense of unity to the student.
Bringing liveliness to learning can only benefit the student – there is no negatives or disadvantages. We cannot force them to learn, however we can create an environment that makes learning the best part of their day. No more students walking late into class because they’ve slept in, and no more “heads-on-desk syndrome.” It’s time for us to support each student’s growth and development by bringing learning to life.