The last core classroom value is ENGAGE. I see this word everywhere in education, business, and service. It is a value many people count as really important but what does it mean to teachers and students? People place a high value to ENGAGE in business leadership, in family, and in the service industry.
When teaching recently I was presenting my four classroom values and one student in the back of the room raised their hand and asked, “Mr. Morland what does ENGAGE mean?” I responded, “That is a good question.” I explained that to ENGAGE is to connect with one another or something. In relationships it means eye contact, body posture, voice inflection, and a sense of drawing others into what you are doing. This is value brings the relational essence to the classroom environment between teacher and students and students to students. Recently I did a Glogster to visually show how a teacher or student could do this. You can view this visual and then read my explanation in four simple steps below:
1. Get early attention
The teacher must get students’ attention early! In my lesson plan template I call this the “attention getter” (what my I learned in public speaking class in college) or the “hook” which I learned in classroom management. My notes under this step include:
-What continuity is there with previous lessons? What is this lesson about?
-What concepts, vocab, reminders, and refreshers do students need?
-What essential understanding or skill set must the student possess to get the meaning?
2. Give consistent feedback
The teacher must give and receive consistent feedback from the students to maintain the flow and pattern of learning. This happens through direct instruction and guided practice. Simply keeping the communication flow going keeps the discussion developing and unfolding.
3. Be an active manager
The teacher must be an active manager in the classroom environment. This doesn’t always need to be displayed by being in front of the classroom at every moment but rather guiding the plans as required. I personally believe this is the greatest challenge in the classroom or for a student in a group because there can be so many distractions. I know this because I’ve been a student longer than a teacher! The teacher must continually place new expectations with each lesson, through digital media, modeling, assignments, and activities. In response to instructing, students must join in the process to get anything out of the lesson. An apathetic or distracted student will get out of the lesson what they put into it.
4. Use varied techniques
The teacher must use varied techniques to ENGAGE the students. Any classroom can use varied techniques with the subject being taught. Good pedagogical background provides some tracks for teachers to instruct students. Human development and education psychology can give further options for teachers to vary instruction. (See Life-span Human Development & Education Psychology in Recommended Tools: http://morlandstrength.com/about/recommended-websites-and-books/)
For me, I’ve found a balance between student interaction styles (extrovert or introvert), direct instruction with discussion, and social-cognitive learning through presentations or small groups. I hope this first blog series was helpful.
My next blog series will shift gears to Coaching Methodology for training student-athletes. This will be an exciting series of my 9 Core Principles of Methodology with relevant examples that any coach can use. I’m excited to start this 3 week series as I begin my new position as Director of Strength and Conditioning/Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School!
My goal is for many teachers, coaches, and students to come back every Monday and Friday as I unpack this second series about Morland Methodology I used to train NCAA Champions and ACC Champions! The first principle will be evaluating Movement Assessment!
Chris Morland, MS, CSCS
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