Connecting with high school students can make teaching easier and more joyful
- Teenagers are fun, inquisitive, passionate and a joy to teach if teachers use the right strategies, teacher Anne-Marie Cormier-Bausch said in this Edutopia article.
- Educators can find joy in working with high school students by getting to know each student personally, using that knowledge to personalize lessons and by giving out sincere compliments whenever possible.
- Students also respond better when teachers give them the power of choice whenever they can and when they ask their opinion on lessons and activities.
Teachers sometimes focus on the trials and tribulations of their job and not the joy that can come from engaging young minds and experiencing the world through a more youthful point of view. Successful teachers and administrators help find and retain that joy by building positive relationships with students, which has the added benefit of making education more meaningful for students.
Though teachers spend more time with students daily, principals and school administrators also need to work at learning students by name and building as many personal connections as possible. Students often only see principals when they are in trouble or when they receive their diploma. But the extra effort of connecting with students cannot only engage them more fully in their education, but also make them more comfortable about sharing safety concerns at school.
As an Illinois school superintendent once said in a blog post: “These teachers and administrators do little things every day to try to make kids feel good about themselves such as: greeting kids at the door, saying hello to students by name, going to see them participate in extra-curricular activities, or finding something special to do for kids that need a little boost. Above all, giving the gift of time to a student who needs it. We have to hold them accountable, we need to make their learning environments rigorous, but without a strong sense of belongingness to a caring learning community, many of our students simply will choose not to buy in.”
- Edutopia The Joy in Teaching High School