Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My 26 Keys to Student Engagement

Angela Maiers challenged others to create a student engagement alphabet in 26 Keys to Student Engagement and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I hope you think about this and try it too. Here are my 26 keys (or ABCs) to Student Engagement:

Aspirations – we should help students work towards achieving their dreams.
Belief- we should help students to believe in themselves and not sell themselves short.
Courage – encourage students to find the courage to work towards achieving their dreams.
Depth – make sure that what we are teaching our students have depth and “meat” instead of just “covering” what is expected.
Energy – don’t squash the energy students have when they are excited about learning something new.
Freedom – give students the freedom to voice opinions in an appropriate way and to find their own “voice” in life.
Grin – grinning or smiling sure helps everyone through the tough times.
Happiness – encourage students to withstand peer pressure and work towards doing things that will bring themselves happiness
Ingenuity – teach students that if something doesn’t work for you, try to be resourceful and find a way that does work.
Jokes – sometimes telling a joke can break the tension of a bad situation. Sometimes humor can diffuse anger.
Kaleidoscope – humans are a mixture of little parts that are different but all part of the same picture. We need to embrace those differences and appreciate the big picture.
Love – If you truly love what you are doing, it will show.
Meaningful – if learning is meaningful, students will work harder to meet the objective.
Needs – everyone has different needs and we all learn differently.
Openness – teachers and students need to be open with each other and communicate with each other about problems in order to come to a resolution
Pride – students need to be encouraged to take pride in their accomplishments
Questions – students need to be encouraged to ask questions and not feel like they are an imposition to the teacher or the class for asking question.
Relevance – assignments should have relevance and not be busy work
Sincerity – students know if a teacher is not sincere. The amount and quality of work a student does is in direct proportion to how sincere they feel the teacher is.
Temerity – students need to be willing to push on and not give up when learning gets tough.
Understanding – teachers need to understand where the students are coming from in order to best meet their needs.
Vibrancy – this enthusiasm for learning and teaching will go a long way in the classroom.
Welcoming – every classroom should be welcoming to every student who enters.
Xcellence – teachers and students need to strive for excellence, not perfection.
Yen – students begin school craving knowledge and we need to nurture this yearning.
Zippity doo dah – the feeling students (and teachers) get when they “get it!”

(I am writing this outside my tent at the Grand Canyon, watching the sun come up. I definitely have that zippity doo dah feeling! Forgive me if I don't post every day because I'm having a hard time getting connected)


Laura said...

You need to make a poster of that! I'd have it up in my office.


Mathew said...

Very creative and inspiring.

Angela Maiers said...

Pat, my friend, you get an A++!
Great job! I completely agree with Laura, the list should definitely go on a poster in all our classrooms and offices!

loonyhiker said...

Angela: Thanks for the inspiration. I enjoyed this!