Some teachers think that they aren’t paid to entertain their students. They think that just educating them is enough. The only problem with this mentality is that if you don’t engage your students first or at least get their attention, you have no shot at teaching them anything. Keep this in mind the next time you are knee-deep in a lesson and it seems your students are mentally walking out of the theater early. The kids you teach will come into class expecting to be entertained. After all, they’re a captive audience. They paid no admission to be there. They want to see a show if they have to sit in a chair for an hour.
The good news is that if you learn how to entertain your students at the same time you are delivering knowledge to them, you will find it a much more satisfying and rewarding experience. This is no instant gratification sort of reward. Besides the smiles on your student’s faces and a few chuckles here and there you probably won’t be thanked on the spot for how much effort you are putting into your delivery. But on a personal level you can feel that you didn’t leave anything on the table. At the end of the day you gave it all you had and you did the best to try to leave your students with more information than they had when they came through the door.
It’s as if you are a Vegas performer and depending on how many class you have, it’s like you’re putting on six to eight shows a night. It’s definitely exhausting. Especially considering that you likely only have a few minutes between performances. Don’t be mistaken, you don’t need to enter all of your classes juggling balls of fire and hopping on one foot. But you should make it your responsibility to keep their eyes and thoughts on you. In today’s society of video games, viral videos, social networking websites, cell phones, and the like it’s no easy feat.
You’ll soon find that when you start making entertainment a priority, your exhaustion level will go through the roof. It’s not easy work putting a little bit of yourself into your lessons. If you are doing a lesson plan and trying to incorporate a fun or engaging activity for class, you’re spending extra brain power and thought on that class. Then once you try to execute your plan during class time, you will be trying extra hard to make sure the activity goes as planned.
All of this results in more stress, more time spent planning, and more gusto during the class. You’ll feel drained at the end of the day, but your kids will have a better teacher, and you’ll see them reach new heights.