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- Give Students Freedom to Work Independently
Creating a consistent level of engagement with your students can be a challenge. As well as working out the different needs of a classroom, you have to find ways to get individual students excited about work, and ready to take part in activities that are going to make that work relatable. As a teacher, you should look towards finding ways to diversify and provide fresh takes on the same subjects, while being creative with online media, and looking for ways to collaborate with other teachers.
While having a good structure is crucial to any form of teaching, it’s also important to provide opportunities for independent learning – higher ability students that might not be engaged with day to day classroom work can be directed towards additional reading and extra projects, which might include contributing to blogs hosted by the school.
You can help to generate engagement by introducing and developing subjects through online media – this might involve employing websites (like Writing Service), Powerpoint presentations with linked clips from YouTube, and digital whiteboards to make subjects more relevant and more dynamic for students to respond to. Revision and learning apps can also be an effective way of getting students to engage with work outside of the classroom, as can providing comprehensive forums and extra teaching materials on a school website.
While providing in depth lectures can be a good thing, you can reduce student engagement by having them switch off and lose their attention span. Instead, focus on breaking up an average lesson to include plenty of group work and questions and answers, as well as moving students around a classroom to interact in different ways.
To help you encourage engagement, here are my top tips:
Take the time to research other approaches taken by teachers to engagement, as well as discussing it with them; speak to other teachers in your school, and use online forums to keep up to date with new ideas and problems that are being experienced by a range of different people.
As well as more traditional school trips, you can also focus on looking for specific opportunities to link whatever you’re teaching into a location or activity; doing so doesn’t necessarily have to be that expensive, and can just mean getting out of the classroom on a sunny day to give students a change in perspective.
Do you have additional tips to share? Please post in the comments.
This is a guest post from Albert Roberts, a secondary school teacher in Essex, UK. If you are interested in contributing to the Writing Service Blog, please complete this form.
As with taking the time to assess the different needs of a classroom, you also need to look for when students from varied backgrounds are having trouble getting to grips with work – find out what kinds of teaching approaches they’ve had in the past, as well as what they’re familiar with.
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