One issue many teachers talk about is hooking children into their learning yet once they’re engaged in the topic, they will put more effort into their learning and if they enjoy the lesson it will be better remembered without having to spend hours of revision on it later.
In my, so far short, experience of teaching as well as previous work with children, I have found it easy to ‘hook’ children and my professional development has focused on my pace to increase the impact of learning within the lesson. I was always insanely bored at school and not much has changed, I am easily distracted and always found it hard to keep focus at university or during staff meetings and the reason for this is that I have a vivid imagination that takes over my conciousness when the real world bores me. This must surely be the case with many children that struggle to pay attention in class.
As much as I can, I link my lessons to my own hobbies and interests – at first I thought that my class would get bored of lessons linking to wolves, rugby, Dr Who etc but it has been the opposite. Younger children like to see enthusiasm in an adult they look up to and it is extremely hard to fake enthusiasm. My class enjoy our history lessons through Dr Who, Maths through Rugby league scores and writing reports on the Grey Wolf. Once you have merged your class’s learning into your own hobbies, they are also easier to hook into other lessons because lets face it, you can’t have EVERY lesson your own way!
Next time you think a child isn’t putting 100% into their learning imagine some of these thoughts that I know I had as a child:
“You want me to measure these triangles? But it’s snowing outside!”
“I KNOW how to multiply… I DON’T know what that pigeon on the windowsill will do next”
“You expect me to focus on my writing when that spider is about to be noticed by those girls, ha!”
“There was an ‘after that’? But I was too busy carrying out the first instruction”
“This question is similar to the last 8 I answered in my maths book… I wonder if my friend wants to play out after school”