5 Things Educators Can Do to Make Learning Interesting for Young Minds

5 Things Educators Can Do to Make Learning Interesting for Young Minds
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We all know how challenging it is to stay attentive in class all the time. And since you’re an educator, you certainly understand this best considering you’ve been on both sides of the table!

As someone who can be hugely instrumental in shaping the lives of children, you know it’s your responsibility to make sure all your students learn and progress fairly well. While you may be willing to help, a rigorous curriculum can prevent you from focussing on the one thing you should- imparting knowledge in a way that keeps students yearning for more.

If you’re looking to bring about a positive change in your approach to teaching, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 things you can do to keep students engaged throughout your class and even after!

Improve on Your Subject Knowledge
Knowing your subject inside out is of prime importance. While we aren’t doubting your capabilities, we just want to remind you that it helps if you’re ready for all kinds of questions students may throw at you. And this doesn’t mean you only have to be accurate; to truly inspire your students, you’ll have to be a few steps ahead of them! Apart from knowing the basics, you’ll have to expand, update and refresh your subject knowledge regularly.

Make a habit of reading books, reports or blogs that deal with your subject area. Subscribe to publications and journals or speak to your department head and see if you can avail membership for yourself and others teaching the same subject. Also consider meeting up with teachers of your department to discuss recent developments in your field and share insights. Such ‘study sessions’ can be held once every couple of months. The best part? You can also extend the invitation to educators of other schools!

Prepare in Advance
To be able to deliver dynamic lectures effortlessly, preparing well in advance is a must. Spend ample time thinking about the content of your lectures and how you will deliver them so as to keep young minds engaged throughout. Give a thought to the teaching materials and facilities you have available and try to incorporate them all in your lectures. This can include chalkboards, whiteboards, visual aids, charts, etc.

Note that a typical student’s attention span can be as short as 15-20 minutes, so plan interactive exercises, role-plays and games and space them evenly throughout your lectures. Do line up some witty jokes and one-liners as well!

Consider Changing Your Presentation Style
When teaching, it is essential to communicate with your students than just finish off the lecture as a monologue. You should also be comprehensible to your students along with being interesting.

Ensure that your voice is loud and clear, and that you are modulating the tone and pitch of your voice and the speed of your speech appropriately for emphasis and effect. Avoid filler words; instead, take meaningful pauses between points and ideas. Gestures and facial expressions can help drive home the point, but do make eye contact with the entire class and not just a handful of students.

Instil a Love of the Subject
Students are bound to have a strong dislike for certain subjects, and as a teacher, your attitude toward teaching a subject can greatly influence the way students look at it. Start with easing anxiety with confidence-building exercises that focus on improving basic skills. Continue with a step-by-step approach to encourage them to develop a healthy relationship with the subject.

Do tell your students what made you fall in love with the subject you teach! Further to this, be passionate about your subject and teach enthusiastically, drawing attention by telling students what they can do with the subject knowledge, how it will help them in the future, and the various career options they can pursue.

Build Anticipation
Think movie teasers and trailers: they build anticipation and make you want to watch the whole thing. That’s what you need to do in your classes too! Commence lectures with something intriguing that’s related to what you’re about to teach- a weird fact, an anecdote, or a personal incident.

At the end of the lecture, ask students to complete a fun activity before the next class so as to make them look forward to learning more. The activity can be as simple as reading a particular article on the Internet or in the newspaper, watching a documentary, or making a list of questions they would like to have featured in a class quiz!

Staying connected with students via an online learning platform like Flinnt by sharing resource material in the form of snippets or infographics can also increase learner curiosity.

Conclusion
Making learning interesting is an integral part of an educator’s job. So don’t blame your students for not paying attention in class; with the tips provided here, you now know just what you need to do inspire your students and get them hooked onto learning.

Do let us know if you loved these tips and if this post brought back fond memories of your favorite teacher. Also, feel free to share how you keep your students engaged in class!

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