Strategy 9: Intentional Engagement
DOI link for Strategy 9: Intentional Engagement
Strategy 9: Intentional Engagement book
Great teachers can make magic happen when helping kids learn. Everybody has had experience with that one man or woman who truly impacts children at an entirely different level. It seems like no matter what combination of students that person is given at the beginning of the year-and we all know that in a given year, the combination of names received on a roster could overwhelm almost anybody-significant learning occurs. By now, you can probably picture who that person is-it may be someone who personally helped you or your own children, or it may be a colleague, or it may even be you. Now, let’s consider the student who has forced teachers from kindergarten through elementary school to pull their hair out. Some pull their hair out in frustration over behavior and antics, and some in desperation to find a way to help the student progress academically. Hopefully, everyone has the image of a student who will remain nameless lodged in their brain-this is a student who is of the “won’t do” variety, not the “can’t do.” So, when we have a “won’t do” student in a classroom where the teacher, even the teacher described in the first paragraph, cannot make magic happen, how do we find success? The key is to get those students one-on-one and work with them individually. It is nearly impossible to
willfully disengage in a situation that calls for continual and monitored active participation. Nothing we have just said is new, or is something that almost any educator could not tell you. But the issue is that we have largely failed to transfer the knowledge learned from successful one-on-one experiences with even the most difficult-to-work-with students to our everyday practice. Every teacher I know wants engaged students and wants to do anything it takes to help students learn. This chapter helps break down what we know about student engagement and what we have learned through successful experiences engaging hard-to-reach students. We hope this will serve as a guide for teachers who are interested in making student engagement a more intentional part of their daily practice.