“Your level of engagement will determine the level of student success.” -Thomas McGregor
Have you ever considered that by being an “over-the-top” teacher could completely revolutionize the success of your students? Many teachers tell me that being over the top is not their style or, acting as such makes them feel uncomfortable. Regardless, we want to be an amazing teacher, right? Well, then we need to suck it up and act in a way that better impacts our students. We need to ENGAGE!
The key to engaging your students is simple; you must gain their attention at all costs. This might mean you will need to step outside your comfort zone. This might mean that you will need to change the way you are doing. This may mean you will need to know your students better. The idea here is to gain their attention by doing whatever it takes to do so. In order to fully engage them in the lesson you will need to pull them out of their world and into yours. This means you will need to first get their attention, create a world, and then pull them into it. What this does creates is an atmosphere that stimulates submersion learning. Your students will be dropped into the information and become apart of the learning process, versus, learning from a distance.
As a communicator, you will need to communicate via action instead of the words you are used to using. You will need to focus your entire attention on sending positive messages to your students through your actions and physical pictures you paint with your movements. Think in terms of a silent actor, nothing but his movements to dictate the message you wish to impart. If you pretend that you have no words to use, only your action, you will be required to show by example and the very best example possible. Pay close attention to nuances that change moment to moment that will greater increase the impact of your presentation. This will be your greatest tool when engaging your students.
How to Build a Powerful Lesson
You can take any of these ideas and apply them in your teaching today! By engaging your students more you will see a drastic increase in knowledge retention and participation. Students don’t like to be talked at. They enjoy moving and grooving with the new information. If given the choice, they would much rather act out the new information versus sitting there and listening to you talk about it. Obviously, there will be a massive difference in retention and information recall because you involved their physiology. When you engage their physiology you make their nervous system in a way that will greater impact their memory system. When activated, the nervous system will make it so your students will never forget what they’ve learned. Now, THAT is engagement.
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