One lesson that I quickly learned when working with students is that it’s important to build a relationship with them. Students need to trust you and enjoy coming to class. In order to do this, it’s important to find things that your students love during your time as a student teacher. Although you need to find student teaching ideas that work with your class, here are some things that your class may love.
Nobody likes to be told what to do or how to do it. Of course, it’s important for students to follow directions. However, look for ways that you can allow students to make decisions in the classroom. These simple decisions make students feel empowered as they take control of their learning. Let them choose the book to read in class, give them several different project options, and look for opportunities to let students choose things that they love. When you let them do this, they will have an easier time connecting with their work and finding joy in what they do.
Incorporate Games and Activities
Who said that learning has to involve only lectures and worksheets? Would you like to attend a class where the teacher only ever talked at you? Students want to get up and have fun or do something interesting. Look for simple games that you can include to teach or reinforce the information. Some of the things that you can do include
Whether you’re studying a particular book or historical figure, consider dressing up and acting it out. You could even dress up as the author of your book. Get into character to teach your students about the book, topic, or historical events. This is a great alternative to lecturing about the story or event. And your students won’t soon forget it.
Make Up Songs
If you want students to learn about a topic, consider putting it to music. Songs are easy to memorize, so it could help them remember the lesson easier. Make up the song on your own, or have the students help you write the lyrics. If you have a musical talent, now is a great time to share it. Bring your guitar, keyboard, or whatever the case may be, to the class to help play the song while everyone sings along.
If you don’t feel like making up songs, there are several musicians that make up songs about topics that you could use in your classroom, too.
Present Goodbye Gifts
After spending so much time with your students, it can be hard to say goodbye to them. You can present gifts to your students to show them how much you care about them. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either. You could make personalized bookmarks, bake cookies with the note “you’re one smart cookie!” or write individual letters to each student. You could also give them pencils, candy, and other small gifts. It’s also helpful to give them a classroom gift, such as a funny poster or book with a special note from you to them.
As you get to know your students, you’ll know what they like to do and what piques their interest. Use this information to come up with student teaching ideas that get them involved and excited to learn. In the process, you’ll strengthen your relationship with them, so they trust you and want to learn from you.