Kids are well known to have short attention spans and can find it a little challenging to build focus and engage in a classroom by themselves. However, it cannot be argued that this trait is very beneficial for the kids to work on, to eventually benefit from it throughout their academic and social pursuits.
This brings us to the topic of how – as teachers – can we improvise the situation in helping the pupils, intrinsically hone this habit. This can sound like easier said than done, and we can imagine that not every class might be the same, but we have outlined some simpler ways to nurture this process for your classroom environ.
Time to work on student-teacher bonding, to work on your students’ strengths.
In a research by Robert Marzano, he states that “Positive relationships between teachers and students are among the most commonly cited variables associated with effective instruction. If the relationship is strong, instructional strategies seem to be more effective. Conversely, a weak or negative relationship will mute or even negate the benefits of even the most effective instructional strategies.”
Let’s look at some easy ways to work on such instructional strategies.
Make better decisions by collecting clear data on your students.
As someone who imparts education to the young kids, you have the opportunity to chart the progresses and interests of each kid. Using physical or virtual platforms to note down each kid’s weakness and strengths, you can help set goals for yourself and for the children’s parents to not demoralise any effort that they make and help them understand areas to work on, without bogging down their morale.
The Classroom Environment
Kids can’t decide this for themselves – but they truly seek and deserve a positive environment in a classroom. As a teacher, this step is often forgotten to implement – to set rules to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and happy. As a measure, you can set some basic rules focussing on – no verbal or physical abuse, respecting each other’s ideas, listening to what everyone has to say, and make mistakes and help each other solve them.
Strategies to Build Commitment
It can be a difficult habit for kids to consistently absorb knowledge for hours on a stretch in a school, but that is the current educational system and there needs to be a way to make it work too. The most efficient way to aid this process is to implement S.M.A.R.T. principles (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Specific) based goals. These help inculcate the habit of writing down targets and achieving them, with the feeling of “What did you learn this week?” than that of just filling pages with homework blankly.
Never Giving Up on Students
The true dynamic between a teacher and a pupil is never truly explored, and it’s understandable. But realizing the faith that a teacher keeps in a student and the effort they make towards them, reassures them a lot and subconsciously motivates them to do better. This same faith, if shaken because of any reason can impact on the students psyche a lot. Hence, there should be a positive connection thoroughly between the two.
During the formative years of a student, having a teacher or professor who has been understanding and amicable to them, can provide a great sense of relief. This positive outlook and sense of comfort help immensely in making them excel in their academics as well as social look. This empathy could help them be more social and understanding in life.
Strategies to Handle Negative Emotions
Academic institutions are where most of us witness minor and major failures of our lives. They can be frequent or not, depending on how much we beat ourselves up for them. Like, not finishing the reading assignments in time, or not scoring as much in their favorite subject. But if the teacher successfully develops a way of dealing with such shortcomings, it can hone this skill for everyone’s benefit.
Give students options for how they want to learn something.
Instead of the conventional methods of suggesting long paragraphs to cram, or blindly copy-pasting theories from the internet arduously in their books – you can look for inspiration within the class by asking what way of learning certain things would be rather enjoyable. For instance, instead of reading a whole play by yourself and expecting the kids to listen – you can assign the characters to those who volunteer and you would see a genuine spike in people participating and showing interest.
Leverage social media.
It isn’t debatable anymore whether the youth uses and likes social media anymore. This is the time to use this interest to cultivate an organic way of learning things, by making social media accounts and groups for them to upload their entries and learn things in the process.
Create authentic learning experiences instead of abstract challenges.
Kids need to learn problem-solving by discourse, design thinking, and collaboration. In order to achieve this, you need to dedicate the assignments and debates for topics that are relevant and not redundant textbook suggestions. Having discourse on the gender bias, health routines or just how to pursue your dreams could help the students think for themselves in the future.
Give meaningful praise that will help students to know what they are doing right.
Often adults pass the same pedigree that they received, absent-minded to the future generations. But these little remarks or compliments actually do more damage on their subconscious, than one might ever want. Instead of saying, “you’re so smart” or “keep going like this”, you need to be articulate and appreciate their exact efforts to not freak them out with crazy expectations. We need to keep their expectations in line with their age.
Give timely feedback.
Throughout academic life, the process of gaining knowledge and thriving in it really depends on a constant intrinsic motivation and a healthy perspective on the learnings. In a world where everyone seeks constant external validation, it is imperative that we provide the children with the right type of feedback at the right time to help them progress.
Brainy a Division of Brain Child Learning is one of those companies which is engaged in helping the children across the world learn how to focus and concentrate on anything that they do in Life. Brainy is present in 13 countries and has assisted more than 150,000 students globally in making their lives easier and meaningful. It helps the children to develop their Emotional Quotient and Right brain abilities through their unique Brainy Sensory Enhancement program.