Getting students engaged
Updated: May 22
First day back has just passed, feeling fresh and ready to go after half term. You feel like you have a clean slate with each class and its great. One of my goals this term is to focus on building a love for learning and passion for my subject areas. According to Benekos (2016) the components of a great teacher are passion, pedagogy and person. Very simple model- but I like it. Now pedagogy is an umbrella term for most things that we will discuss on this website, but passion and person are my focus in this post.
When getting through a 'heavy content' subject does our passion fade away? Does our personality disappear? Hopefully not, but it's definitely not helped by some of the less interesting topic areas we have to cover. Being conscious of this observation after a break, I purposely try to create lessons which are even more fun, interesting and relevant to students, even if this means going slightly away from the curriculum. Be creative as you like- there is one aim for this first lesson. Let students know you love your subject, and find something about it that they will like too. You may not achieve an Ofsted outstanding from this approach but you may well spark a passion and create some life-long learners.
I've done this in Science by ensuring that the very first lessons after a break are always practical. I've also linked lessons to things that are in trend such as social media, TV shows or games that they're into.