A positive classroom is full of warm, respectful and sensitive interactions between you and your students—and among the students themselves. Whether your classroom is in-person or virtual, motivating kids to engage in learning can be challenging. When it comes to classroom tips, teachers are constantly finding new ways to boost student engagement. Here are a few tried-and-true reminders that may help you (and your students) get back to basics.
Build solid relationships
Intentionally building and working to maintain relationships helps students truly understand you’re invested in them. There are several ways you can do this:
- Greet each student by name every morning.
- Ask questions about life outside school—for example, “How’s your dog doing?” and “What did you do over the weekend?”
- Show interest in their hobbies or after-school activities
Forming relationships with your students helps you earn trust and respect. It also helps you better relate to each student so you can understand their needs and frustrations.
Start class with an easy task
Giving a simple task to your students at the beginning of class does two things: First, it alerts everyone that class has started. And second, it allows students to accomplish something early. It could be as simple as finding a way to ensure everyone is paying attention.
Ask the right questions
When a student misbehaves, it can be helpful to ask them questions to help them slow down, think through the situation, and come up with a better solution. Rather than asking why they acted out, which can lead to excuses and shifting blame, ask what they did and have them determine how they could react differently.
- What are you going to do about it?
- How can we be sure this won’t happen again?
- What should we do if this happens again?
Keep a positive attitude
Even on tough days, keeping an upbeat attitude is a great model for students. They’ll see a better way to handle difficult situations. Consider handing out trophy stress relievers to help you and your students relieve stress and stay positive.
Praise your students, often
Sometimes students may question their abilities. That mindset can determine how focused they stay in class and how much effort they put into learning. Never underestimate the power of praise.
Even if they get the answers wrong, praising their effort can encourage them to keep trying. Having classroom giveaways on hand is a great way to reinforce their capabilities. Try handing out stickers or a Fun Crayon to younger kids. Older kids may enjoy flying discs or mini basketballs.
Manage your classroom for success
By implementing these tips for in-person and online classes and using classroom giveaways to help motivate students to do their best, you’ll help each student reach their full potential.