Whether you’re a teacher or an active parent on your the committee for your child’s school, you know that keeping the whole system together is no picnic. You seem to only have the option of either offering amazing educational opportunities for all students, who will most likely dread coming into school every day to be grinded down by endless work, or you can appeal to the fun things your students want to do.
However, then you’ll likely see bad grades across the board, and the realisation will set in that all your students are going to end up living at home until they’re fifty.
Okay, so both of those possibilities are extremes, but the difficulty of balancing fun and learning is a very real problem that the majority of educational establishments either can’t wrap their heads around, or simply don’t bother to address.
Making school a ‘cool’ place to be is never going to be an easy task. You have to put the children or young adults first, of course, and that means a little sacrifice. They might not enjoy it all, but you’re offering this standard of education to help them create a successful and happy life. It’s better that they think you and the other teachers are dull and boring, rather than you being a cool and fun teacher who ends up having to fail their students for letting them slack off.
Still, there’s no reason you can’t have the best of both worlds. Here are some ways you could be making your school a bit more exciting and engaging for students; who knows, maybe they’ll actually perform better because of it.
Easing students back into school after the holidays.
After Christmas, or any other holiday, you’re most likely dreading getting your kids or other students back into that waking-up-at-8am routine. The transition can be as difficult for you as it is for them, and those early days back in the school routine are usually the ones during which students most hate the school system. I suppose we all miss sleeping in until 11, so who can blame them?
Still, the solution lies in preparation. If you’re a parent, then you might want to ease the kids back into an earlier sleeping pattern. Honestly, this will work wonders, and you’ll be thanking past you when the first day back at school swings around. Trust me. Your kids will stop shouting, “I hate school! I’m never going back!” and start mumbling “Yeah, my day was fine, mum.” That’s the best we can hope for, really.
From the perspective of the school, perhaps preparing children for the horrors of returning after a lovely long summer, or a nice Christmas break with the family, can seem like an insurmountable task. The best advice I can give is to try to make the first day back as pleasant as possible. Maybe you could start lessons by asking children how their breaks were; getting a discussion going about where people went on holiday might make them feel a little more engaged and a little less as if they’ve just returned to a dull and boring classroom. It’s a sneaky trick, but it works.
Arrange out of school activities.
Something about school activities outside of school appeals to children more than activities which take place either during school time or on the school premises. Perhaps it’s because children don’t feel as restricted once they’re out of the confines of dull and uninspiring classrooms. Perhaps they feel as if they’re involved in a group activity, and there’s room for them to participate .
Whatever the case, it’s good to think outside the box, especially if you’re a parent with some influence over the school committee, because education is education. It doesn’t matter what form it comes in or where it takes place, as long as the students are learning everything they need to know in order to make it in the world.
You could even arrange some school trips in different classes. This is one of the best ways to engage your students, as they’re still learning about something related to the subject at hand, but you’re offering them the opportunity to get out of the boring, stuffy classroom into which they’re crammed every day. Instead, they can see a little bit of the world, whether that’s simply through browsing a museum for history, or visiting a local mosque in order to understand a little more about different faiths for religious studies.
There are so many ways you can get creative with trips, as there’s a whole world out there. Your students might find it a heck of a lot cooler than a dull, unstimulating classroom packed full of plastic desks and chairs.
Technology is the answer.
Think about it this way: classrooms are outdated. No, I don’t mean that education is outdated. People will always need to learn things. However, the world has changed. The world is always changing. You have to think about education not only in terms of the interesting information children are accessing, but in terms of their futures.
You have to think about what careers they might hope to have once they’ve finished school and university. A hundred years ago, people worked in factories. In the present day, people work in modern offices, and they’re encouraged to innovate and be creative.
Yet, we still use classrooms designed for a bygone era.
We still use desks arranged like a factory line-up, suited for a career path that is practically non-existent for students in the modern age. So, your school should be adapting to the way things are today. You need to think about what it is that students understand. Technology is what engages them today.
Not only is the incorporation of technology helpful in terms of actually engaging students and making them work harder, but the importance of technology in every business industry in the world cannot be understated.
Encouraging students to use technology to put together presentations, and social media or the internet to pass around word of their projects with friends and family, is something that they’ll find fun to do, but they’ll also be learning techniques used in the business and marketing world today. These are real-life skills, and they’re actually applicable in all careers. Who said school couldn’t be fun and prepare students for the world?
- About Me