With the new year in full swing and school starting back, this is the perfect opportunity to make positive changes to your classroom and increase student engagement and achievement. As you reflect on the previous year and the challenges it brought, consider ways to set attainable goals to make the improvements you would like to see in your global classroom. Read on to learn four ways to support yourself and your students as you set goals for the new year.
Focus on the process of learning more than the outcome
Fostering intrinsic motivation for learning in students is critical to their academic success in future educational endeavors. This year, consider emphasizing the importance of the process of learning to your students so they develop an appreciation for gaining new knowledge rather than just focusing on test scores and grades.
Shifting the focus of school from an output-based model toward a structure that supports all steps in understanding a new topic works to tailor learning toward each individual student by meeting them where they are at. This can create a strong foundation for future topics that build on the current curriculum as well.
Find a balance between school work and extracurriculars
Encourage students to find hobbies outside of the classroom that they enjoy. While school is important for intellectual development in childhood, so are activities that support creative and physical development. Help your students find an extracurricular activity they want to participate in, such as joining a cultural dance team, taking a music lesson, or trying an art class that interests them.
Finding a good work-life balance doesn’t apply just to students, however. It is important for teachers to take time for themselves by finding a creative outlet that allows them to step away from their lives at school. Participating in hobbies outside of school helps teachers and students to be more present and engaged when they are in the classroom.
Model healthy eating and sleeping behaviors
Promote a healthy lifestyle for your students by modeling choices that emphasize overall well-being. Students often learn by mimicking the actions of role models in their life, so your choices influence what they choose for themselves. Consider packing a lunch that shows diverse foods and correct portion sizes. Take this one step further and include foods from different countries in your diet as a way to start authentic conversations about food cultures and how people eat around the world.
Explain to your students the importance of a daily routine, including a regular sleep schedule. Having healthy and well-rested students makes it easier for them to focus and stay engaged in the classroom. Plus, by modeling these behaviors yourself, you will feel better and be able to better support your students.
Promote the personal and academic growth of students by helping them set their own goals
Similar to you, have students reflect on the past school year and list personal strengths and areas for improvement. Then have them think about an attainable goal they would like to achieve by the end of the year, perhaps related to language learning or a global initiative. Brainstorm with them possible steps they can take to reach that goal. Is there something they can do monthly, weekly, or daily that gets them closer to where they want to be?
Creating small steps that students can visualize and work on periodically makes the larger goal they are working toward seem less daunting. With students all striving toward different goals, find ways that they can support each other during the process to improve classroom cohesion and bonding.
Teaching students to care about each other’s goals can develop their social emotional skills by teaching them how to have authentic conversations with each other. To find out more about how Participate Learning can help you in the new year, check out our teacher resources or contact us directly for more information.