Are you Tuned-in or Tuned-Out?

As teachers we need to from time to time check-out our students world. We need to ask ourselves the question are we tuned-in or tuned out to our students? The answer to this question could be the key to help us lock  our students and grab their attention. The reality is our students will work for the teachers they like and will dismiss the teachers they don’t feel connected too. Take a journey with me down memory lane. You’re a teenager listening to your favorite song. Your singing your heart out and dancing to the beat. Then an older person walks in saying “what are you listening to”? They turn the song and start singing an “old school” song. They then look at you and say “that noise you were listening to is not music this is music.” Do you remember the look you had on your face? Did you roll your eyes or shake your head no? What were your thoughts? Did you say “that music is for old people”? “Times have changed.” That person is old and this is the new face of music? GUESS WHAT……lean in close I am going to tell you a secret….READY? This is the same reaction our students have to our lessons if we are not tuned-in to their world.

These students are microwave consumers. Everything they do is at the click of their fingers. Images are constantly being flashed at them. So the idea of sitting in rows, listening to you talk and taking notes from a PowerPoint slide is for “old people.” I am not suggesting we do away with that teaching style completely, but there is a time and place for everything. In order for us not to lose the battle of boredem in our classrooms we have to be open ourselves to our students world. Take the time (1) listen to students interest in music, movies and television shows. (2) Catch an episode of the lastest televsion show. (3) Infuse music and movie clips into your lessons. Or you will start to see the engagement in your class rise and the retainment to the material increase.

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