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5 Tips on Connecting With a Student in Your Classroom

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Learning is in many ways very much like an exhausting hurdle marathon where only a few most determined and enduring ones are lucky enough to make the finish without feeling physically, emotionally and mentally squeezed out. Other participants of this years-long academic race either fall out of it halfway or are at the tail-end all the way through school.

Teachers are increasingly concerned about the growing number of students who get disinterested and disconnected in class despite the many efforts aimed to make learning fun. These students are easy to detect: they look nonpresent, often drop their textbooks and are unwilling to participate in classwork, interact with their classmates and teachers and do their assignments.

Firstly, let us think about what can be the reasons of such intellectual and emotional detachment of some students. They can be numerous, thus some children might feel too challenged or, on the contrary, unchallenged by the curriculum, they can have family problems, personal circumstances etc.

There is no way to solve the problem without understanding its cause. So the first and the most important advice for teachers, who have disengaged students in their classrooms, is to try to spot the problem by talking to a student directly or contacting his family.

  1. Try to make classwork more meaningful to a student. Make sure they clearly understand why they have to learn this particular topic or complete a particular task. Explain how it can benefit their future life and help them achieve their goals.
  2. Students tend to be more effective when working in groups so if you make classroom work more collaborative, it will make children more involved and interested. Prepare tasks, assignments and discussion themes that will require a disinterested student to answer questions and be the center of everyone’s attention.
  3. Students often have their own opinion on what form of learning will be the most beneficial for them. So their disengagement might be a silent protest. If that is the case, the first thing you should do is to openly discuss the problem with a student and see why he does not like it. Students tend to be more engaged if they are trusted to take their own learning decisions.
  4. Reward students by introducing fun-based activities to your curriculum. Every time you notice that students start falling back to their state of detachment, you can make a short break and play an active game or tell a funny story to attract attention.
  5. Every person has certain emotional needs. Some disengaged students lose their interest in learning because they do not have their emotional needs met. These can include teacher’s praise and reward, classmates respect, the amount of attention paid to him in class. Motivate a disconnected student by publishing his work online to get some extended audience, tailor some individual tasks to make him interested or simply ask him a sincere “How are you today?” question. It will help to improve student’s self-esteem and help him feel relevant.

Whatever you choose do not get frustrated or angry with a student for his lack of interest and motivation. If you try to stay positive and sympathetic, a student will definitely appreciate it!




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