A Guide to Getting Kids Ecstatic About Learning
After a school year has ended, I always reflect on what I could have done better. Even though I always think I knew my students well, I could have always known them better. From the moment students enter the classroom, a teacher is trying to get to know them, their family and background, as well as their academic needs and any issues or struggles they might have.
Teachers set up the classroom environment and activities that will help engage each student at their learning level. It is also key to create a classroom that is bright, warm, and welcoming. Teachers can also successfully engage families in students learning through inviting parents to volunteer, observe and help with field trips, activities and the PTO. What more can a teacher to do engage each child so that within that school year they become excited about learning? What will you do?
Below are 5 tips to foster a student’s excitement about learning:
1. Be Popular
Be the teacher that all students want to have for a teacher. Why do they want to have you for a teacher?
– You are energetic and positive
– You care about your students
– Your classroom environment is warm, engaging, fun, and most of all an awesome place to learn.
– You allow your students to make choices and mistakes.
– You are encouraging and thoughtful. (You attend your student’s events)
2. Get to know each student:
– Meet at eye level when speaking to each student
– Welcome and greet each student as they enter the classroom (daily)
– Attend activities they are involved in
– Build a reciprocal relationship with all families
– Create an “All About Me Bag”
Each of these ideas can mean so many things. The number one priority though, is truly be committed to know your students. It is imperative to understand where your students come from and why they are the way they are.
3. Set-up the Classroom environment for students to succeed:
– Allow students the freedom of choice. Let go of that control and study what the students are interested in.
– Have areas set up that students can engage in (centers). Centers can be for all ages if set up correctly.
– Teach procedures and routines that allow for flexibility and build a classroom community of learners.
4. Spark interest through engagement and scaffolding:
– During the day schedule one-on-one, large group and small group times.
– Assess your students (background and knowledge gained)
– Get to know your students personally and academically
– Group students and work on abilities (differentiation)
5. Be a role model that shows children how to learn the correct way.
– Follow the classroom procedures and routines with your students.
– Be cheerful and welcoming to all that enter your classroom.
– Scaffold and help students by modeling the correct way to do something.
– Think out loud how to figure out problems.
– Role-play and teach how to problem solve.
When a teacher shows students the importance of building a classroom community of learners, students can then begin to make meaningful connections personally and academically. Teachers that instruct using procedures, routines, developmentally appropriate practices and engaging lessons will win students’ attention and increase their willingness to learn. Teachers that are positive, caring, and relationship builders have classrooms that spark interest and give students the freedom to engage in learning activities where the teacher scaffolds, monitors and inspires. When students are excited to be at school every day, families are happier, and children are excited about learning!
What kind of teacher will you be?
This guest post was written by Tisha Shipley. Tisha has a doctorate of education in Curriculum and Instruction and has taught multiple grade levels at Moore Public Schools, including pre–K and gifted 3rd–6th graders.
You can find Tisha online in these places: