Jesus.B, Online English Teacher at Acadsoc.
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Do you sometimes feel that as a teacher, you constantly have to perform for your students? Quick considerations like being animated in class, moving from one spot of the room to another, or varying the tone of your voice come into play in making sure you have your students’ attention. To some, these things work.
Other teachers don’t think the same way. While it’s not a bad thing, it’s also not a terrible idea to ‘perform’ once in a while, but it takes a whole lot of personality for someone to do these things naturally, although they can be learned, too.
Either way, there must be a couple of simple steps out there for any teacher to follow when it comes down to grab their students’ attention in class. Whether the students are being a nuisance, uncooperative or simply bored, something can always be done!
Here we outline 10 tips on how you can get your students’ attention all throughout the class.
Clap once, clap twice.
Or not. The point is to devise a signal that will remind your students it’s time to pay attention. You can make use of a bell or a whistle, play a song, or strike the gong (in case you have one).
Show them a striking picture/slogan/prop.
Another way to catch your students’ gaze is by showing them a picture. Let it be something that will allow them to wonder.
Come up with an energizer.
If your students are feeling bored or unenergetic, one way of spicing things up is to sing a song or play a quick game. Sometimes, deciding whether or not to use games or songs that are relevant to your day’s lesson all depends on your judgement call. No one else knows your students except you.
It pays to be funny. Or goofy. Especially with kids, nothing catches their attention more than coming to class looking like Jack Sparrow or Winnie the Pooh. As a teacher, you’ve got to be prepared to pull out some tricks for your students.
Allow your students to work in groups.
The old saying that goes, “The more, the merrier” rings true even in the classroom. When students work together, they also simulate a social interaction happening outside your class. But because the goal is to have them reach the objectives of your day’s lesson, establish clear roles each student in the group should perform.
Check on your students individually.
You can never underestimate the power of a simple tap on the shoulder. If your student shows signs of being bored or confused, approaching your student and asking him or her what the matter is can quickly help solve the problem.
Praise students who are cooperative and attentive.
Pointing out the good sets an example of how other students should behave. Call out the names of students who are behaving well in class.
Transform the classroom into a learning playground.
Don’t be afraid to change things a bit in the classroom. Sometimes, even changing your students’ seating arrangement to one big circle can inspire fun. Better yet, try sitting on the floor.
Videotape your class and play it.
Sometimes, it’s good for students to see how they behave in class. One great way of capturing this is by taking a video. Have students take a look at an ordinary day in the classroom. You’ll be surprised to know some changes in their behaviour in the future.
When your students feel that you’re also having fun rather than just merely doing your job as a teacher, it will also spark some fun to your students.
As a teacher, do you also do some of the practices mentioned above? Or do you teach English online? Some of these tips can also be tweaked in your online English classes. English tutors at Acadsoc have tried modifying some activities mentioned above that will help boost their students’ interest and allow for a more engaging class.