How to Increase Student Interaction in Class
It is the duty of a teacher to identify the innate talent and weaknesses of a student, thereby understanding their inherent strengths too. There are a lot of people who feel that student life is easy as there are no hardships and traumas. But that is really not true. How good a student you are determines how you succeed later in life. And it is here that the teacher plays a crucial role or part. Remember that a student is only in the learning process and is unable to identify their inner strengths, weaknesses, etc. on their own. When they enter into any academic institution or body, it becomes the responsibility of the teacher and the relevant authorities to help these kids find these problems and work on solutions to thrive in an environment that is favorable. It is said that the after their immediate families, students learn the most from their schools and teachers and there is no denying of the same.
One thing to keep in mind here is that many students seem to be managing really well on their own, but deep down they are struggling and fighting many battles of weaknesses. Unsure of their talents and comparing themselves with peers, they are trying to hide these issues. All students have their own strengths and weaknesses to deal with and as a teacher; it is your moral responsibility to take this charge.
The idea is embracing the power of a strength-based philosophy in education. Remember that all students have their share of strengths and weaknesses - a clear reflection of the same is their grades and class papers. It is these everyday subjects that helps you in getting a knack or inherent talent of a student. For instance, there are some students who are aces when it comes to all fields be it art, craft, studies, etc. and then there are some who only find pleasure in sports or even music. So there’s nothing really wrong here except our academic system expects these students to at least score decently in other subjects too - even if it is just pass mark.
So the important point here is that as a teacher you should help them realize their strengths, along with their weaknesses. Not being familiar with their innate talent would be such a loss and waste. But not being aware of their innate weaknesses is worse because there is no way to improvise. And it is here that the teachers become a pillar of these students. Now keep in mind that strength is not really something that a student has to be excelling at. Something good works well too. So here are some ideas to help the students get familiar with their strengths and develop them further or enhance these skills and talents-“All About Me”
As the name suggests, these are activities that simply rotate or revolve around the student’s interest. It can include a set of questionnaires that the school or teacher develops, for getting some insight and perspective into the minds of the students. It can be given out in class and is just an opportunity to share a bit about who they are through a visual arts or writing process. Especially, students who are shy and introverts tend to mention their core competencies and likes through the same.Interactive Sessions
Having interactive sessions, in particular with the parents becomes a must. It is often not easy for the teacher to be in touch with the parents of so many kids they handle. But during the PTA or other relevant meets, the parents can talk about their kids, their passion, what they like to do at home, etc. Teachers can also give out questionnaires and detailed queries about their students to keep a tab of the same. You can conduct this session in the presence or without the knowledge of the student too. Videos/ Movies
If you are looking for another innovative way for getting to know your students, then may be a fun workshop on making videos or movies could do the trick. This really works well for the older students who have access to smartphones. All that needs to be done here is tell them to make a video of what they think are their core competencies, talents and strengths. Not only is it an interesting activity, you will get to see a very unique side of your students too.Class Survey
A fun way to know more about students would be through their friends in class. You can ask your students to take a questionnaire about 5 of their best friends in class or even make groups and then ask them to provide you with this insight. What happens here is that often, students are not aware of their talents but others see it? And from your classroom, you will get all of this information just like that. One-to-One Session
There’s really nothing quite like a one to one session with a student but of course, this is something time consuming. Plus a student usually assumes that being summoned by a teacher is something bad! So here you can discuss that you would like to get to know your students better and would be meeting each one of them briefly over the term. In order make this activity friendly, you can include a walk in the garden, sipping some coffee or just talking in a different environment than the classroom. Identity Day
As the name suggests, Identity Day is conducted in many schools every year and on this day, the idea of the academic process is to get to know their students. So on this day, students are given the unique task of bringing something to school or doing something they prepare and share a presentation about themselves. It can be strength, an interest, their family, culture… Anything that represents who they are. Not only is it a great way for students and staff to better connect with each other on strengths and interests, it often helps the teacher uncover the hidden talent behind that shy little back-bencher who doesn’t do well in class.