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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for 17 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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5 Ways to Get Students Excited About Learning

After a school year ended, I always reflected on what I could have done better.  Even though I thought I knew my students well, I could have always known them better. From the moment they enter the classroom a teacher is trying to get to know the family, the student academically, the background they bring with them, issues, problems, struggles, likes, dislikes and ultimately what will help a student succeed. A teacher sets up the classroom environment and differentiates activities that will help engage each one at their learning level.  The classroom is bright, warm, welcoming, and instruction is provided with procedures, routines, and a daily schedule.  The teacher invites parents to volunteer, observe and help with field trips, activities and PTO.  What more can a teacher to do engage the child so that within that year they become excited about learning?  What will you do?

Tips to foster a student’s excitement:

1. Be Popular

A.  Be the teacher that all students want to have for a teacher.  Why do they want to have you for a teacher?

                1. You are energetic and positive

                2.  You care about your students

                3.  Your classroom environment is warm, engaging, fun, inviting, and most of all an awesome

                      place to learn.

                4. You allow your students to make choices and mistakes.

                5. You are encouraging and thoughtful. (You attend your student’s events)

2.  Get to know each student:

A. Meet at eye level when speaking to each student

B. Welcome and greet each student as they enter the classroom (daily)

C. Attend activities they are involved in

D. Build a reciprocal relationship with all families

E. All About Me Bag

Each of these ideas can mean so many things.  The number one priority though, is truly be committed to know your students.  Have the want to understand where they come from and why they are the way they are.

3. Set-up  the Classroom environment  for students to succeed:

A. Allow students the freedom of choice.  Let go of that control and study what the students are interested in.

B. Have areas set up that students can engage in (centers). Centers can be for all ages if set up correctly.

C. Teach procedures and routines that allow for flexibility and build a classroom community of learners.

4. Spark interest through engagement and scaffolding:

A. During the day schedule one-on-one, large group and small group times.

                1. Assess your students (background and knowledge gained)

                2. Get to know your students personally and academically

                3. Group students and work on abilities (differentiation)

5. Be a role model that shows children how to learn the correct way.

                1. Follow the classroom procedures and routines with your students.

                2.  Be cheerful and welcoming to all that enter your classroom.

                3. Scaffold and help students by modeling the correct way to do something.

                4. Think out loud how to figure out problems.

                5. Role-Play and teach how to problem solve.

When a teacher shows students the importance of building a classroom community of learners where everyone makes mistakes and values one another’s thoughts and feelings, students can then begin to make meaningful connections personally and academically. Teachers that instruct using procedures, routines, developmentally appropriate practices and engaging lessons will win students’ attention and willingness to learn. Teachers that are positive, caring, relationship builders also possess classrooms that spark interest, allow freedom to engage in learning activities where the teacher scaffolds, monitors and encourages, will win students over.   When students are excited to be at school every day, families are happier, and children are excited about learning. What kind of teacher will you be? 

~ Tisha