Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch Student Engagement in the Classroom

3 Steps for Encouraging Student Engagement in the Classroom by Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch

Adults sometimes find it difficult to participate in conversations or focus on tasks when they find these boring or too monotonous, says Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch. If adults experience this kind of difficulty; what more kids and students? Teaching is a noble profession. Teachers are instrumental in the success of their kids when they become adults. This is why, for Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch, teachers are the unsung heroes of society.

But, even the best teachers, with the best intentions, struggle with keeping their students engaged. When boredom sets in, it would be quite a task for students to stay focused on the lessons, often finding other, more interesting, things to do. Unfortunately, once students find your class boring, they will dread coming to class and they will keep tabs on the time, waiting for the bell to ring to get them out of your class.

Don’t despair, says Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch. There are ways for you to re-engage your students and keep them interested in your class for the remainder of the semester or school year. Here are three key steps to encouraging student engagement and participation in the classroom.

strong>Lose control to gain control

This key step may seem contradictory, but when you look at it closely, it’s not. What does Patrick mean by this? Simply put, if your teaching style leans towards dictating how the students should behave, ordering them to pay attention “or else,” try to loosen your grip a little. This authoritarian approach may feel stifling to the students, and the more you try to rein them in, the more they will do their best to not let you get the upper hand, which usually means not paying attention in class.

Create a balance between lectures and activities

The best way to lose the attention of your students is to drone on and on about the lessons. A lot of students regard this approach as monotonous and boring. Sure, the notes on the board and PowerPoint presentation are important and they will truly help the students understand what the lessons are about—but this is only your opinion. Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch shares that he has seen students struggle with learning because teachers take it for granted that the lectures and notes “speak” for themselves. Remember that you understand them because you made them. Imagine explaining lessons to a kindergartner through your approach. It would be hard for them to even begin to understand what you’re saying. How do you teach toddlers and kindergartners? By show and tell, right? Try applying the same method in your lessons. You might be surprised at how effective they are.

Learn together

You may be the teacher, and you may be expected to know everything, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your own lessons as well. Create activities that will make you a participant as well as a teacher. Not only is it fun, but students will appreciate you “getting your hands dirty” every once in awhile.


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