“The best teachers don’t judge, they engage.” -Thomas McGregor
Let’s be honest — I talk about this subject more than I do any other subject, sub-subject or adjacent-sub-subject associated with being an educator. Although I speak about it a lot, I think it’s worth mentioning again to help drive home the idea.
The idea is of engagement versus teaching. I saw a quote recently that said, “Don’t make them think, engage them!” I really love this because it makes you think differently as an educator. This statement allows you to shift your focus from “I’m going to make their mind work” to “How can I get them involved?”
In my blog post from Sept. 16th I go into deep detail regarding student engagement. To prime your thought process, here are 12 engagement ideas:
- Act out your point
- Involve a student in the story
- Create an engaging environment
- Drop words and use movements
- Change environments
- Bring in other professional
- Community involvement
- Paint images with movements
- Play games
- Select close interests
- Increase laughter and fun
- Involvement in lesson creation
The HABIT you MUST immediately start using in your teaching is the habit of student engagement. Get in the habit of engaging your students at every possible opportunity. That’s right, EVERY time you get a chance.
Engagement shouldn’t be something that we need to implement. Students should be engaged 80% of the lesson or I don’t consider it a successful lesson. This is because as soon as students aren’t engaged in what they are learning the drop off into day dream land. In other words, your students will not retain any information long term unless you stick to making this a key teaching improvement a habit. Engagement ensures that the information you are presenting stays with them for years to come.
Engagement works well because it involves the student different ways of absorbing information. Instead of simply speaking or showing the information you are requiring many different areas of your student to become involved in the absorption process.
I think it’s safe to say that engagement is the way to go. But this isn’t something that happens overnight. You must start using this habit more and more over time. First, start by engaging in the first concept you want to teach. Then, once you get better and better you can incorporate your entire lesson plan as a lesson of engagement. You will feel more fulfilled and your students will retain more for longer.
Engagement is a WIN-WIN teaching habit.
Live your inspiration deliberately!
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