Do you remember when you were in school? Did you have a favourite class (other than lunch and study hall)? Did you have a favourite teacher? Was there one special teacher who turned on your brain’s light bulb, and made you LIKE a subject and/or learning for the first time?
Students recognize the teachers who really enjoy teaching, and their time in the classroom. Good teachers know that adding some zest and passion, along with some humor and fun, will help students to learn, and even help them to like the subject and the class.
When I was in the classroom for 37 years, 35 at North Allegheny Intermediate High School, our building was filled with talented and passionate teachers, and we reveled in making our lessons even better. My good friend who taught Latin organized Saturnalia, complete with decorations in the cafeteria, which transformed the cafe into a Roman holiday venue. A World Cultures teacher had assorted outfits, hats, and headdresses – turning himself into many famous people in history, including Buddha! Another friend, a Geometry teacher, made rhymes and movements along with a few steps, in order to help kids remember formulas. I loved doing the extra research to “hook” my students and make them interested in something that I was required to teach that could be considered “dry.” In fact, as a review before the big test, I played ALL the parts in Julius Caesar, dying on my desk. Kids always remember that scene, as well as Marc Antony’s famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech. All of these examples helped students to become more interested and to learn.
I saw an article about a teacher in Oregon who has actually made his students like Math. I think he has even made ME like his class, just from one short video! Here is the link to see this energized and energizing teacher:
Students are bound by law to attend school, but they are not bound by law to like it or to learn. It is my belief that teachers should give some extra attention to making their classes interesting and engaging. Students WILL learn from a teacher who is passionate about his subject! I know – from first-hand experience!