Engagement is characterised by appropriate behaviour (behavioural engagement), positive feelings (emotional engagement), and, above all, student thinking (cognitive engagement).
The end of the year is fast approaching and if you are like any other teacher ever, you will be checking up on how much content you have taught this year, how much you didn’t get done and frantically trying to assess students for their learning so that you can write an accurate report for the end of the year.
When students don’t listen or follow directions, or they roll their eyes when you speak, or they talk while you are talking, it can seem as though they don’t care what you think of them. This is a misconception. Young people do care what adults e.g. parents and teachers think of them. They care very deeply even when they don’t show it. The more it seems they don’t care, the more they do care.
When I first started teaching (many years ago!) I was struck by the cookie cutter approach of the education system, that seemed to knock any individualism, originality and enthusiasm right out of young students. Any student who didn’t fit in was poked and prodded (figuratively) till they were made to fit.
Have you ever had a student who displayed challenging behaviour that baffled you? None of your usual behaviour tricks and tools seem to work. The student responds positively to you one day, but the next won’t do anything for you. Or they love your reward system for a couple of days and then refuse to participate in it.
8 Easy Ways to Differentiate the Curriculum for Your Students - If you think of differentiation in terms of content, process, product and learning environment and begin by providing difference in one aspect, you can reduce some of the associated stress.
As teachers, we are always looking for ways to optimise the learning for our students, whilst also taking little extra preparation time. Simple, effective ways to engage your students that won't require any extra work for you!
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