Admittedly, this year’s back to school events will be quite different from those in the past. Whether your school is starting the year off with distance learning or you are returning to the classroom, it’s important to pique your students’ interest on the first day! Under the current circumstances, all that matters is that you do your best. As you know, keeping students engaged starts with taking the time to get to know them and making sure they know that they belong. See our advice on how to keep your students interested below:
Make Learning Meaningful
Students are more likely to retain material if it is relevant. Consider how content can be related to real life events or the students’ everyday lives. Choose from a variety of ice breaker games such as 2 truths and 1 lie, personal presentations, a journal prompt, or a simple survey to get to know each student. Be sure to include their interests in future lesson plans. These connections will increase retention and your students’ success!
After a long break from school, students may struggle to hold themselves accountable in the classroom. Whether you are teaching in school or at a distance, students should be active agents in their own learning. On day one, outline classroom expectations and cultivate a culture of trust between the students and yourself. Simple actions such as these will encourage students to take pride in their work!
Be sure to keep your students on track with clear goals during the back to school season. After a period without routine, your students will benefit from some structure. Goals, deadlines, and positive reinforcement will also serve as an excellent motivational tool. Be sure to provide your students with an outline for the upcoming year but remember to be flexible! Every student has a unique situation; offer your understanding, support, and guidance to encourage them to do their best during these challenging times.
Most importantly: have fun! It has been a difficult few months, and your students will be coming to school looking for a sense of normalcy. Keep your content light and encourage your kids to be positive! After a long lockdown, students are sure to see your classroom as a safe haven.