How Teachers Can Artfully Keep Students Focused in Class
With each new generation of students, different challenges arise for teachers on how to keep students focused in class. Fortunately, teachers may draw upon tried-and-true principles to artfully persuade the students to joyfully participate in educational pursuits. As this process unfolds, the teacher performs more like a maestro conducting an orchestra rather than a pedagogue imploring the students to behave.
Many teachers command the students’ focus by employing a group-based approach to learning. In the latest version of this technique, the groups enjoy the grand opportunity to present part or parts of lessons. As the group members illustrate key concepts, they often use computers, overheads, drawings, props, and other resources. Once the students realize they will grace the stage as members of a teaching group, their focus intensifies in startling ways.
Students love to draw, and the artful teacher draws upon this propensity to invite students to focus in new ways. In this scenario, the teacher instructs the students to sketch their conceptions of a given lesson’s most important ideas. As time permits, the educational leader allows a few students to share their drawings with the class on a given day. Since the students rarely know whom the teacher will invite to share, they all focus and prepare for their glorious opportunities. The same happens when students are encouraged to journal through creative writing.
In recent years, increasing numbers of instructors have chosen to coach rather than teach. In this new role, they view themselves as great motivators in the mold of Nick Saban and Pat Summit. During the course of a week, they find time to “coach up” the class–and even individual students. As the students develop a sense of involvement in a great undertaking, they routinely exhibit heightened focus and increased resolve.
There are a variety of different ways to keep students focused in class, but this is dependent upon your students and the material you are teaching.
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