Building strong connections with the students is about empowering not only yourself but also them with the aim to extract productive learning outcomes. Teachers should select and execute the right classroom engagement strategies and make it a routine exercise. You should understand that those who are able to connect with learners in the best manner possible, also compel them as intended in terms of maturity and overall learning experience. The impact is carried beyond the walls of the classroom and the graduation date into the practical and personal lives of students.
This is why we are going to discuss some really effective classroom engagement strategies that help students in making strong associations both in and out of the classroom.
1.Work on student culture
Today social media and entertainment activities have become a part of the students’ learning in colleges and universities, thanks to the digital stimulation that most students find irresistible. This is what educators should be careful with when addressing the current generation, who more inclined towards digital learning.
When we descend to the level of personalized learning, teachers are required to travel that extra mile and understand the sub-cultures living within the classroom. Fine, here we aren’t saying to ask students if they have watched the new episode of Game of Thrones, or what type of partner they prefer. Rather try to keep the things as close to the classroom learning and subject material as possible, for instance, the likings and disliking of the students in a particular course, how he or she plans to practically consider the concept learned in the class, etc.
2.Talk about your life
It might not seem much, but talking about your own life is probably one of the classroom engagement strategies that can work well beyond your imagination. Some teachers might struggle to think about the right time to talk about something of course, but you can always relax and open a bit, and talk about life in general. Try to share some easy-to-understand and humble life lessons, share your industry experiences, adventures, day-to-day struggles, and other things that will make the learners realize that teaching is not the “superhuman” or “Mr. Know-it-all” as they had always thought, even the teacher can have his or her own fair share of fortunes and misfortunes.
Furthermore, students will accept that behind the bar of professionalism, the teacher is also as much a human as they are. Apparently, it is your right to filter the words and stories you want to contain and tell. Do remember that sharing doesn’t mean about expressing highly private and sensitive information about yourself, but anything you’re okay with, perhaps, something amusing that happened to you only recently. Or, you might have discovered an app or website you feel will be relevant for students’ learning.
If the reaction to your storytelling session isn’t groundbreaking or reshaking the students in an instant manner, let’s not panic, because, instilling genuine engagement and interest takes time. Keep the effort in practice and you’ll see the students beginning to accept the change.
3.Catch the initial few minutes
The First Five Minutes is quite a new trend both in the corporate and societal engagement activities, and the case with a college education is no different. The initial chunk of time spent in the classroom is the most vital time used for making connections. And when we talk about engagement in the classroom, the first few minutes can be utilized for the sake of waking or warming up the learners for a particularly difficult, important lecture to follow.
Remember, no matter how much important the lecture in today’s class would be, you’ll never start going on the topic from the very first minute of the session. Instead, the first few minutes will be consumed in asking the students to settle down, asking them a couple of questions from the previous lecture, etc.
When was the last time you entered the classroom and saw students sitting as rigid as robots, all quiet and focused with their pens or laptops ready on your go? Practically never, so there’s anything wrong with that. The point is, students are allowed to breathe a little during the commencement of a new session, even if it is the last class before the finals.
This is how you acquire the right classroom engagement with your students through the above three simple, yet powerful ways.
Lara Hawkins is a professional educator and has the experience of working in both traditional and modernized classroom systems. Apart from her vast experience in catering students from varying walks and demographics in life, Lara also runs the best assignment company with the prime objective to cater all the major academic disciplines for students and professionals worldwide.