As a professional in the field of public education, you have made it your life’s mission to teach others and encourage the lifelong pursuit of knowledge. However, your dedication and passion can be challenged if students are not motivated to participate in learning opportunities. Here are top strategies for instilling a love of learning in your students.
If students show an interest in any topic, even if it is not completely on topic with the lesson, support their curiosity and provide an environment where they have the opportunity to explore the topic in greater detail. To help save class time and avoid students’ questions derailing a lesson, have a “parking lot” set up somewhere in your classroom where students can put their questions without interrupting the lesson. Then you can address those questions at a later time when it’s convenient for everyone.
By promoting the practice of asking questions, you will cultivate a classroom atmosphere where students will be inquisitive about their daily activities and routines. Your willingness to engage with them and answer their questions will provide validation, and they will demonstrate a deeper, broader interest in exploring new things. They will find that asking questions about their surroundings is a great way to learn, and they will use this practice in other parts of their lives.
Think Outside the Box
Be creative in deciding how to present a specific lesson. Demonstrating ingenuity in your approach can allow your students to experience learning in a way they never thought possible. By framing the lesson in terms that are relevant to the students and giving them the opportunity to think independently, they will feel more empowered and engaged in the classroom. Students will obtain strategies and skills to confidently pursue learning in all aspects of their lives. You can craft lessons that offer your students opportunities to explore a new topic through a hands-on activity. When a subject is presented to students with an approach where they can learn by doing, children will find that learning can be an exciting process.
Set an Example
Learning should not stop when a student leaves the classroom. You can show students that they can be passionate about studying and enhancing their knowledge at any point in their life. Be ok with being vulnerable in front of your students by honestly telling them when you don’t know something. Take it a step further by modeling for them what you do to find an answer to your question. By demonstrating that you are continuing to learn and have made it an ongoing habit, you can model behavior patterns that will positively influence their pursuit of learning far outside the classroom.
For more great resources and ideas on enhancing the education experience for you and your students, make sure you check out Credits for Teachers. In addition to helpful tips and information, you can also enroll in Professional Development courses that are entirely online and self-paced. Completion of these courses can provide you with graduate credits from a Credit for Teachers’ university partner. These credits are valuable, as you can utilize them for salary advancements and recertification.