One of the toughest things about teaching is often encouraging students’ interest when they show almost none at all.
When a student is disengaged, they tend to perform worse in the subject overall because they do not pay as much attention or engage as much in the discussion as they might in other lessons, and this can be a real problem.
The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to encourage your students to take more of an interest in your subject, including the following:
1. Make it relevant
If you can make the subject more relevant to the student’s life, then they are much more likely to take an interest in it. For example, the language of Shakespeare puts a lot of children off and they find it hard to relate, but if you focus in on the dramatic love story or the two characters and how it compares to modern teen relationships, well the teens in your class will surely have something to say about that.
2. Make it fun
If you find a topic to be rather dry and boring, you are hardly going to take much of an interest in it. By making the subject fun, then, whether you do so by taking the kids on Paris school trips to learn French or you show your science class how to make an exploding volcano with a few basic ingredients, the more enjoyable your methods of teaching are, the more interested they will ultimately be.
3. Encourage participation
Many students find having to sit and listen to the teacher for the whole duration of a lesson to be a bit difficult and they can end up getting bored and disengaging. If you can find a way to enable them to participate more fully, perhaps by asking more questions or having them do a little play to demonstrate what they agave learned, then it instantly makes the subject seem a lot more approachable and they might well end up loving it in the end.
4. Break it down
Many students’ interest in a subject fades when it appears to be too difficult for them. They don’t see the point in trying when the subject feels impenetrable to them. If you, as an educator, can break down all of those difficult ideas and concepts into simpler, more manageable ones, then you can make the subject feel more accessible and this could be all it takes to engage those students who are not interested.
As a part of this, you might also want to avoid talking about exams so much and so often, until you really need to; ease them into exam chat and it won’t all feel so overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.
As you can see, increasing your students’ interest in your subject is all about tackling the subject in new and interesting ways and giving them fun but challenging experiences. If you can do this, then you can win them around and help them to achieve more in your classes.