When you have a class full of students, it can often be challenging to keep them focused, interested, and engaged in what you want to teach them.
Knowing how to inspire your students to work hard and achieve to their full potential can sometimes be a struggle.
Actually, it doesn’t matter whether your students are primary school age or will be heading off to college next year. What does matter is how well you come across to them. Sometimes, you might feel like you’re “not getting through” to your pupils.
All educators have off days; after all, everyone is human. But it’s important to remember that also applies to your students. They aren’t always going to be eager to learn, especially if it’s a sunny day outside and they would rather go outdoors.
With that in mind, if you’re finding it hard to inspire your students in the classroom, consider these ideas to help you motivate them and encourage them to give their best work.
Make Learning Active
Many believe that getting students up and about is something that should end as soon as primary school does. However, it does not have to be that way. Secondary students can learn and apply previous skills on the playground or field just as readily as younger pupils. Teaching states of matter in science? Get children up and about pretending to be the particles. Teaching colours in French? Grab a parachute and get your students moving around underneath. Active learning can make all the difference, and you can guarantee that they will remember what was being taught for a good while to come.
Go on Field Trips
The learning environment can be anywhere, not just the classroom. Sometimes, pupils can feel bored if their daily routine is monotonous, and they always feel like they get stuck between four walls for several hours each day.
That’s why it can make sense to break up school terms with occasional field trips. You can organise trips yourself, or you could use a student travel company to help you – especially if you’re planning field trips abroad.
Field trips are excellent ways to give students a change of scenery and demonstrate some of the concepts they got taught in your classes. Plus, if you all go on field trips abroad, it can inspire some of your pupils to learn more about new cultures and languages.
Give Them the Floor
It can seem quite monotonous to students if the only way they get taught is by you telling them stuff and expecting them to soak in the information you feed them. What you should always do is break up how they learn by letting them showcase their skills.
For example, if you’re teaching science or technology subjects, you could ask your students to invent or make something, and they can both demonstrate and explain their creations to the rest of the class. It gives them the chance to pull off their best work, show how they understand the concepts you’ve been teaching them, and boost their confidence levels.
Make Learning Fun
Lastly, education shouldn’t just be about pupils reading books and getting tested on what they learnt. It should be a fun and enjoyable experience for all and one that your students will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives in a positive light.
There are many ways you can make the learning environment fun. For example, you could incorporate technology and perhaps ask students to build robots or test their hypotheses on specific subjects.
You could even introduce theme days, where pupils get dressed in period clothing to re-enact eras of history or famous events. There are literally thousands of ways you can make learning fun in the classroom; you just have to be a little creative and think outside the box.
Ultimately, you can only inspire them if you teach with enthusiasm and appeal to their unique learning styles. Traditional chalk and talk methods do still have some impact. However, educators should never rely solely on one method of teaching, just as we expect our students to be able to demonstrate their learning in a variety of contexts. Good luck – finding a way in can be fun (if you allow it to be)!