Teachers often get swept up in student achievement. That’s totally understandable. It’s one of our primary jobs. But teachers also have an obligation to foster student passion. When students pursue their passion, their spark, they’re engaged.
In his book Hacking Engagement, veteran teacher James Sturtevant shares 50 teacher tools that will make students love your class. These 50 unique, exciting, and actionable tips and tools that you can apply right now.
Each of the fifty hacks begins with a thorough explanation of a problem that teachers commonly face. Then offers a detailed solution that anyone can easily use to engage students.
Each chapter concludes by giving you concrete steps to implement the solution the next day.
Become an undercover investigator. Begin your investigation early in the semester. Assign various types of hands-on activities that free you to cruise around and ask all sorts of questions, some pertaining to the activity, some geared to learning about student interests, and others focused on getting to know kids better:
As soon as you see or sense that little spark, try to confirm it: “You seem to enjoy watching YouTube. For our next unit, would you like to create a documentary about the Arab/Israeli conflict and then post it online?”
It will be evident immediately if you have struck gold. If not, keep searching for the spark. The potential payoffs are huge. Through observation and friendly interrogation, you can find student sparks. Kids are intensely engaged when they pursue their passions.
Once you discover the spark, it’ll shape how you motivate and interact with students.
Finding a student’s spark and then exploiting that spark is a key to engagement. Teachers can find this spark through observation and interaction.