Student engagement has become quite a challenge for teachers to overcome in school. To top it off, the COVID-induced pandemic had a devastating impact on learning. Barred from going out of the home, the children were stuck with their gadgets for their online mode of education. All of this hampered their motivation to engage in school, adding to the woes of the teachers.
Sunita Tomar from the English Faculty of Shambhu Dayal Inter College, Ghaziabad, in an interview with Hindustan Times, shared that teachers should emotionally interact with students so that they can feel their teachers care about them and will guide and assist them as well. When teachers treat every student equally, even those who underperform academically, students tend to focus on their studies, and their off-tasks behaviour declines.
Children spend seven to eight hours of their day in school and it is important for them to feel like they belong there. This feeling will help them in being engaged in academics, feel more driven and succeed. Students are more likely to strive toward their goals if they feel connected with their teachers.
According to Tomar, teachers should provide constructive criticism and appreciation to students. This will help them learn from their mistakes, and develop a healthy teacher-student relationship. “Getting to know one another better among teachers and students fosters a sense of community,” she added.
Here are a few strategies that teachers can apply in the classroom for student engagement-
1. Know your students
Try to know your students personally. Ask them about their hobbies, get to know about their parents, or ask about their pets. This will give you a sense of understanding of who the student is and where they come from.
2. Play games to engage them
As a teacher, you can engage your students in critical thinking by making them participate in team-building games. Games are fun and help students bond and socialize with their peers.
3. Assume the best in everyone
By assuming the best in all your students, you create a change in your perspective about a student’s behaviour, the quality of their assignment work, and personality.
Appreciate and encourage students when they are attempting something new. They may make mistakes but will learn from them. As a teacher, provide clear and effective feedback and then move on. Do not linger on their mistakes.
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