We all need a mentor in order to grow and develop. This is something I think we forget as teachers because we are constantly concerned with being the mentor. When I got a teaching mentor I realized the immense value he offered both, professional and artistically. As a result, I received extremely valuable advice from him one afternoon when he spoke the following words:
“If you want to have students that achieve, you must first engage with them.”
There are many gems of wisdom in this statement but, I’m going to focus in on the last part for the purpose of this article because I believe it to be the best teaching advice I have ever received.
The Best Teaching Advice You’re Not Taking
Engage WITH Your Students
Students learn best when they’re participating in engaged-learning. Moreover, students remember most the longest when they’re engaged WITH the teacher. This is called; “Full Immersion Learning” What this means is that the student forgets that he is learning and resides in experiencing. Just think, if you were back in your old school, do you remember the teacher that stood at the front and talked at the class or do you remember the ones who had you out of your seat, moving with interactive learning? You see, age doesn’t matter when you apply engaged-learning. When you get the student engaged you allow for learning to occur in a way that submerses the student INTO the information. This completely changes the game of learning into a game of learning.
SIX ways to engage your students
- Mental – intellectual
- Physical – neurological
- Emotional – psychological
- Action – physiological
- Results – actualizing
- Guidance – interaction
Each way present a way that you can submerge your student in the information they are learning. The key focus for you as teacher is to ensure that your student forgets that he is learning via as much submersion as much as possible. This can be accomplished by acting out stories, asking them to “forget what we are working on,” and by allowing them to create an atmosphere around the new information. By doing this you are doing your students the ultimate service, one they will never forget.
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