Teaching is undoubtedly one of the most valuable professions required in any society. Young minds must be shaped in a way to help continue the productivity and advancement of a civilization. While there are many strategies and techniques debated about the best way to accomplish the goal, the end result is that children must be prepared to take their place in society.
The education system is one place that young minds can and should be empowered.
Teachers empower students by helping them foster a sense of ownership in their life’s choices. Leading students – at any level – present an opportunity to encourage students to lifelong learners to commit to a potential career path. Teachers have an amazing opportunity to plant seeds and help guide this process using the following 7 techniques to empower young minds.
Assign Classroom Responsibilities
Give students responsibilities within the classroom to help foster ownership of their educational process. Assignments can and should rotate. Perks for a job well done will enhance pride of ownership.
Recognize Those Who Participate
All students love to be acknowledged for a job well done. Encourage participation in the class by recognizing meaningful contributions. The recognition could be a simple as a verbal affirmation to participation award.
Give students an opportunity to practice leadership skills. Group leaders can run small meetings, monitor student activities, or help organize a school production. Encourage all students according to their capacity.
Seek Student Input
Where possible, brainstorm with the students. Seek their input and give them a choice between options. Allow students to feel vested in their educational experience. When they feel their input is valued, they will be more likely to take an interest in the activity and feel ownership of the outcome. Teachers can also leverage student input to incorporate topics that students are most interested in covering.
Let Them Problem Solve
One of the best qualities anyone can learn is the ability to work through problems. Challenge students. Allow them to work together in groups. Celebrate their accomplishments when successful in completing tough challenges.
Students should feel comfortable expressing respectful ideas and opinions that differ from expressed curriculum or even the teachers. The classroom can be a useful environment to help students learn that people can disagree without being disagreeable. While they should be challenged to support their arguments, students should be encouraged to contribute to a collective conversation without being marginalized for dissenting viewpoints.
Help Students Find Their Passion
Teachers have a unique ability to recognize when students excel at one or more subjects. Help parents understand their child’s strength and share any school related resources that can help that nurture a student’s ability or passion. Encouraging a student to explore a subject or skill may open them to possibilities otherwise overlooked.
By empowering students in the classroom, teachers are setting the stage for a lifetime of learning and contributing to the success of each student’s educational experience. Students who take ownership of their education become more thoughtful, engagement classroom participants. That is a win-win for all involved.
Vera Marie Reed is an ex-elementary school teacher turned freelance writer from Glendale, California. She is now a stay at home mother to her two young daughters and enjoys writing about education for topmedicalassistingprograms.com