Saturday, February 16, 2019

You Can’t Get Engaged without a Relationship First.

Have you ever met someone who got engaged to someone they didn't have a relationship with first?  The reason that I ask this question is because relationships kind of drive whether or not you will choose to get engaged in the first place. 

Well, apply that same idea to student engagement. Relationships are everything when it comes to engaging students into the learning.  Sure some kids may not be interested in us personally, but they must develop some relational connection to either our content or to us before they will choose to learn. 

So do you want better student engagement?  Better yet, do you want your most struggling students to get engaged in your classroom?  Well, it won't happen without strong relationships for learning first.  

Here is a list of questions to reflect on students who are least engaged in your learning?
  1. How well do I call my students by name daily?
  2. How consistently do I greet students coming and/or leaving my class daily?
  3. How well do I listen attentively to my students?
  4. What do I know about my students' lives, hobbies, and interests?
  5. What do I know about my students' personal and academic challenges and interests?
How did you do?  
Do you have the knowledge of your students to meet them where they are?  Relationships are about reaching out, making them feel valued, and showing them that you care more about them as people than you do your content.  Without them learning is a struggle.

At the end of the day, we teach kids not content. And when we make consistent efforts to cultivate amazing relationships with our students, especially those reticent to learning, engagement is rarely a battle. The reason is simple. Taking time to learn the students inspires them to take the time to learn the content. 

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