Welcome to the engage2learn Leading Learners blog series! We asked students across the state of Texas to write blogs about improving education. For their first assignment, they tackled the topic, “How can schools keep learners more engaged?”
Hear what Harlingen CISD student Sebastian has to say about his experience in school, and how it can be improved.
Have you ever noticed the invisible line that divides teachers and some students? The one that exists when teachers and students are disconnected?
What if that void is filled?
Communication is important in the classroom. There needs to be a constant flow of thoughts between teachers and students in order to maximize learning. Listening also needs to be incorporated in the classroom, for teachers to be more receptive of students thoughts, and for students to be more receptive of the information being taught. This will bring a mutual respect that will make teaching and learning much easier.
I know this first-hand because of the experience I had when transitioning between a traditional middle school and a medical high school that incorporated project based learning. At first it was new and strange to me, but I realized that the PBL learning style made everything very simple, and I went from a B-average student to an A-average student.
Another way to engage students is to promote, encourage, and teach skills that can be utilized in the real world. For example, a critical skill that students can utilize is creativity. This can be integrated by teaching school topics through different perspectives, and including class discussions.
Someone who I saw as a very creative and inspiring teacher was my sixth grade science teacher. She would enthusiastically make up songs about science that were catchy and easy to memorize, which left students with unforgettable information. If teachers could find different and interesting ways to teach their classes, I’m sure that students would become engaged and understand the information.
Students should be taught the importance of time management to increase productivity. Time management seems like something that is only a small aspect to your success, but it is truly vital. For me, time management has played a huge role in securing my grades in school, and making each day productive.
When I was in 9th and 10th grade, I was taken out of school because of a surgery that went wrong, and I had to learn everything at home. I was a mess. I was just given work weekly and told to finish it as soon as possible, with minimal instruction. I felt like I was a student who was always absent, I was always out of the loop and never knew much.
However, I took on time management without even realizing it. I created to-do lists, prioritized my work, and tried to build structure into my time. Utilizing this skill is probably the only way that I was able to find a balance between my studies, my free time, and my health.
I strongly believe critical skills and teacher-to-student connections would motivate students to become more engaged in the classroom. If students had the skills they needed such as time management and creativity, then learning and growing as a student and as a person would be effortless.
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