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Jul 26

Teacher Tip: You Have to Make it Interesting

Teacher Tip: You Have to Make it Interesting

The best way to have good classroom management is to have an interesting class.  If the kids could care less about what is going on inside the walls of your classroom then you are going to have problems.  Now, your class period is not going to be the most exciting thing in their world every day, but as long as you change things up a bit and be a little creative your students will appreciate the effort.  I taught at an inner city school with a high rate of failure, but I know my students enjoyed and were successful in my class.  I know this because every now and then I will see one of my students when I am at the grocery store or the mall, and they will tell me that my class was one of the best ones they ever had.  So how did I get to that?

Well I teach U.S. History so naturally my class is one of the ones that kiddos cannot wait to get to (sarcasm) but I try to relate everything that I can to a current situation.  You have to show them that what you are teaching matters in the real world.  For me it is relating current events to the past and showing how history repeats itself or how the dots connect.  If I was teaching math or language arts it would be all about how those skills work in the real world.  You have to make what you’re teaching relative to what they care about which for the majority of all people that age is themselves and their friends.

So, after making your material something that they care about or at least are interested in, now comes the tougher part which is making it fun to learn.  That is where you need to make technology work for you.  If you have access to the internet there is an unlimited supply of good material.  The hard part is finding the forest through the trees.  Over the last year my school has opened up Youtube for teachers to access and it has made finding fun teaching moments a little easier.  For example, while teaching about the American Revolution I used the music clip below and then after viewing it we discussed some of symbolism in the video and wording they used in the song compared to what they have learned in class.

Before I had access to youtube or even a projector I used music to get my students attention so it can be done without the internet.  When talking about Andrew Jackson’s policy towards Native Americans I used Dave Matthews Band song Don’t Drink the Water and just printed off lyrics for them to read as I played the song.  We then discussed what the song was about and related it to what we have learned in class.

By changing up the class a little bit and bringing in a different medium the students became more excited about the day and looked forward to what tomorrow was going to bring.

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