Monday, September 23, 2019

Make It Meaningful

In F.A.I.L.W. from Dangerously Irrelevant, Scott McLeod states,

“But maybe the reason our students are ‘failing’ is because they rightfully see that so much of the work that we ask them to do is pretty meaningless and so they simply try to opt out.”

I feel this is vital to any successful lesson! If you can’t make the students believe there is a really good reason for learning the lesson, they will not give their best effort. Students are smarter than we give them credit for and when they feel that all they are doing is wasting their time, they will tune a teacher out. Many times, people will assume they are having trouble with the lesson or they don’t understand the concepts, but they may only be choosing not to put effort into the lesson.

When I look back at my years of schooling, I remember many lessons that I have never used. I also try to remember lessons that I wish I had paid more attention to and how relevant they are to my life.

When I was going through the national certification process, I had to really look at my lessons and give rationales for why I was teaching the lesson and why I was using the strategies in the lesson. This really changed the way that I taught. I was making my lessons more meaningful because if I felt my rationale wasn’t strong enough, I knew that my students wouldn’t find it meaningful enough. I had to think about why I was teaching that lesson. Was it because others had influenced me to teach it and I really didn’t need to do it? Was it just busy work and was I just wasting learning time?

I noticed that when I spent the time making sure that the lesson was meaningful to my students, it was easier to plan the lesson. Also, when I explained to my students why this lesson was important, the students were more engaged in the lesson and it usually had a successful outcome.

How do you make sure your lessons are meaningful? Please share.

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash

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