when students don’t share your vision? When they flat out don’t care? No it isn’t, butdid you expect it would be? Here in lies the challenge and the fun!
How do you make difference when they won’t stop talking to listen?
You have to be the difference. You have to think, talk, and do differently than the normaround you. Instead of focusing on worn out rules and elaborate systems of “interventions” and escalating “consequences,” focus on what you want students to do.Tell them what you want them to learn and what the consequences will be when theylearn. Find out what motivates them, what makes them tick as individuals. We’re nottalking just candy and pizza parties. Dig more deeply. What inspires them? What aretheir big dreams? Put opportunities out before them to create dreams. Play to their positive emotions to get positive results.
.You might be thinking that this won’t work. They’ll think you are a pushover. Your crowd is too rough and rowdy. Have you tried it? No, really tried it? Tried it and stuck with it until you begin to see results? If you think what you are doing now is working,ask yourself this:How do your students score on tests, any and all?How rigorous are your lessons?Are students engaged in accountable discussion, open ended problem solving, creatingand monitoring their own learning strategies?If you are not totally satisfied with how you answered those questions, here are threestrategies for you to try in your classroom that will make a difference and gaincooperation rather than mere compliance and set the stage for rigorous learning to take place.
Three Powerful Steps to Create an Engaging Learning Environment
1. Focus on what you expect.
Call it the Golden Rule, Karma, Law of Attraction, or whatever you like. It is no secretthat you will get more of whatever you give your attention to. Ask any observant parentor teacher, when you say, “Don’t do xyz!”and turn your back, xyz is exactly what will begoing on. Sometimes you don’t even have to turn your back! Even if they don’t do xyz,telling people what not to do leaves it wide open for what you do want. Fill it in for them.Identify for yourself what you want students to do. Map out in your mind what you wantyour classroom to look like and how you want students to act. How should they enter