The start of a new school year always brings mixed emotions for students. No one wants to see carefree summer fun and activities come to a close, but students are excited to see their classmates, start a new grade, navigate new schedules, and meet their teachers. However, for some students, academic struggles can overshadow the excitement of returning to school. These students are already dreading upcoming tests and assignments instead of focusing on the new experiences to come.
How can you help ALL of your students find (and maintain) enthusiasm for this new school year? Start with these three tips:
- Provide different learning experiences: Mix up the way in which lessons are taught day to day. Some students may be more hands on when it comes to learning, while others might learn best in small groups. Remember – each student is different. Although the majority of your class may understand and learn one way, mixing up your routine and providing a different learning experience can help struggling students get excited about coming to class and learning.
- Focus on student success, not failure: Students want to succeed and see their hard work pay off in the end. For students who struggle, this is no different. When struggling students repeatedly fail a project or lesson, they may begin to shut down and give up. Take the time to reinforce their success up to this point. Students who struggle forget to look at how far they have come and only see how much further they may need to go.
- Positive reinforcement: Provide your students with a challenging but attainable goal to reach. Work with your students as a group or individually to determine what this goal should be. Whether it’s a spelling test or math exam, having a realistic, engaging goal to aim for will help keep your students motivated, even when they are struggling.
The school year is about learning, growing, and most importantly, having fun! With positivity, support, and the right mix of learning experiences, you can help all of your students stay engaged and motivated throughout the entire year. Need some inspiration? Keep this quote in mind:
Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.—Rabindranath Tagore
Looking for more tips to keep your students engaged in the classroom? Watch this quick 10-minute webinar! Interested in learning more about how a personalized learning model can help support all of your students’ unique learning styles? Check out this blog on designing your own framework or take a look at Edmentum’s engaging courses from Plato Courseware to provide personalized learning solutions for your school or classroom!