Schools, today, work on their students’ holistic growth. The focus has shifted from only academic learning to personal growth and development along with academic learning. This puts more responsibility on the teacher who has to ensure that both aspects of a child’s development, i.e., the intellectual and temperamental, are being prioritized.
A major part of a student’s character development is their style of communication. There is no better way to foster this skill than to encourage them to participate more in a class. Answering or asking a question and adding something fruitful to the lesson are a few ways in which a student can participate.
Any interaction in the class engages the students with the contents of the lectures. It ensures that they are attentive and understand the subject matter well. Successfully communicating your point of view across or putting your queries to your mates and teacher is a definite sign of progress in a student’s development.
However, getting the students to speak in a class can be a demanding task. Here are some tips to encourage class participation that will make your students engage more with your lectures.
A degree in education is important
A degree in urban education is designed for teachers who teach in schools with large populations and that are located in large metropolitan areas. So, it can be hard for teachers to cater to the needs of each student when teaching at such institutions.
But if you are equipped with a master’s in Urban Education then you are bound to have the skills needed to do well in instilling better values in students of your class.
You can encourage each one of them or the whole class to engage in class activities. That way, you’ll foster greater class participation from every one of them.
Establish an environment conducive to an all-round participation
Our surroundings have a substantial impact on how we behave. A setting that is not tolerant toward questions or opinions can make your students to shy away from expressing themselves in the class.
The fear of being judged will keep them from sharing anything. To avoid this from happening, make your classroom environment conducive to the spirit of participation.
Students should be taught to respect their fellow mates’ opinions. In this regard, set up a few rules that can help the students observe tolerance of diverse opinions.
The rules may include
- – do not interrupt while someone else is speaking
- – raise your hand before you speak
- – speak loudly and clearly
- – patiently wait for your turn to speak
These rules will also bring more decorum and discipline into the class proceedings. Usually, the shy ones will refrain from speaking, and when they do, they’re often talked over by others.
By implementing the rules mentioned above, you can ensure that each student gets a turn to speak without fearing interruption. A child who does not participate enough should be encouraged by the teacher to share their thoughts.
A polite and lively way of requesting a child to speak up will be much more effective than using bullying tactics or even anger. It will be easier for everybody to participate when the students are comfortable in the presence of each other and the teacher. A positive and welcoming environment is best for increasing the frequency of participation.
Learn why students refrain from participating
There are several reasons why students do not want to participate in a class. Some are shy and others might not want to embarrass themselves for giving wrong answers.
Ask your students about their reluctance to participate. This is going to help you with finding a clear answer. However, knowing reason only is not the main aim. The goal is to solve the problems that they’re saying holds them back from participating.
Observe your students’ body language to see if they are uncomfortable or nervous while answering. If they are nervous, then you might need this next tip.
Participation matters more than being right
A perception of a teacher as someone who is strict, who has no tolerance for wrong answers, is still widespread. However, through the decades, teaching has changed drastically because of new teaching methodologies.
You must remind your students, nonetheless, that wrong answers won’t lead to severe consequences. When the fear of being punished or made fun of is removed, students will come to participate without feeling any reluctance.
Constantly let your students know that their participation is appreciated more than their correct answers.
To eradicate any anxiety around giving wrong answers in your class, you should appreciate all answers, regardless of them being correct or incorrect.
Saying “the answer is incorrect, but I am glad you tried,” is great way of letting your student know that their participation is appreciated and will help keep their morale. It will also send out a message to the other students that it is all right to be incorrect sometimes.
Teach only as much as can be retained
It is difficult for students to remember and comprehend too much all at once. A good teacher knows what their students’ intellectual capacities are. Teachers should avoid giving students too much work that can make them feel overwhelmed.
Who likes to sit through a boring lesson? Your students raising their heads every 5-minutes to check the time on the clock is a clue for you to make your lectures more interesting.
Keeping students engaged in the lesson will make them pay more attention. Whatever you teach, relate it with examples from real life, gather eye-opening facts related to the topic, and whatever you do, don’t just mindlessly drone on about the topic without caring for your students’ involvement.
You can also ask your students to share examples from their own lives that they can relate to the topic. Group activities at the end of a class are a fun way to break the monotony of the lecture.
It is only human to feel bad when your efforts are not paying off and your students still give wrong answers to the questions you pose to them. But, even if they don’t come up with the right answers, your students should not feel like their contribution is not valued.
Give each reply a due comment, and thank each student for raising their hand and answering. That way, you can ensure that they feel encouraged to participate. Don’t just move from student to student without acknowledging replies put forward by each.
Show genuine interest in listening to and speaking with your students. Make sure you make all students feel like their experience, example, story or answer added value to the lecture.
Participating in class is not without risk to our ego as we can get laughed at or ridiculed by our fellow classmates or even by the teacher.
To ensure your students are taking an interest in the lectures, you should encourage them to ask questions, give answers, and freely express themselves. As a teacher, you should acknowledge each answer as valuable, which will encourage the students to participate more.