Since the dawn of time, teachers have looked far and wide for ways to motivate students in the classroom. This search has turned out to be arduous if not fruitless more often than not, but the emergence of new techniques and technology in recent years has given teachers that much needed edge when it comes to creating a safe and fun learning environment.
It Pays To Have Fun
With the usual distractions that await them at seemingly every turn, teenagers need activities that will encourage them to participate while learning things that they can use everyday. Although it can be intimidating to learn a new language, ESL (or English as a Second Language) teachers often ease students into the lesson with fun, engaging activities that typically have something to do with the concept being taught that day: Charades can be used to review vocabulary, word searches improve spelling and recall, and role-playing dialogues aid memorization and experimentation.
Other subjects don’t have to be chores, either. Students can color in maps or stage vivid re-enactments for History and Geography classes, insect collections can make Biology a hands-on experience, and plays can make English Literature come to life. The possibilities are almost endless.
Whichever activity suits your lesson plan, students are more likely to remember what they are taught when they have fun learning it.
An Enthusiastic Teacher Never Hurts
Teaching is not a nine-to-five; it is more of a waking passion that relies on someone’s mastery of the subject and desire to impart their knowledge onto the next generation. It can be difficult but ultimately rewarding, as CNN’s Heather Sinclair Wood found during her internship at a middle school.
Although teachers certainly do not need to be jumpy actors who sing and dance at every turn, they cannot rest on their laurels, either. Students are more likely to respond to an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher who devises creative lesson plans and is ready to help them whenever necessary.
Sometimes, The Little Things Make A Big Difference
While teachers pride themselves on mastering the content and explaining it well enough so that students can understand the ins and outs of their respective field of study, what is just as important is maintaining a classroom that is as engaging and stimulating as it is professional and respectful.
In any classroom, students respond positively to teachers who maintain eye contact and call them by name. This is often the first step in bridging the gap and fostering a mutual rapport, which can be strengthened subtly by the equal enforcement of disciplinary measures. However, this does not mean that teachers are exempt from the rules; they should lead by example by being as professional, polite, and punctual as possible. If they do that, then chances are that the students will follow suit.