Hey guys! It’s Rae. I wanted to do a quick blog post about how to motivate students in the classroom by utilizing community in your classroom. I’m sure as you know, I am so passionate about bringing my community into my classroom, and I find that teachers that I collaborate with often tell me, oh no, they don’t want people in their room, and I think that’s because us teachers are really nervous about that negative feedback.
We feel like when we invite people in, then we invite criticism, and that’s not at all been my experience. When I invite people in, typically people are so excited that they got the invitation They’ve always wanted to help out with schools but they never know what to do so they think that they have to have some sort of money when really I just want them I just want you to come in and echo all the things that I’m telling my kids, right, echo the fact that they’re learning in the classroom will apply to their futures and how that will happen.
So I want to give you just a few ideas of ways to utilize your community to enhance your student motivation to work in your classroom. So one way is I bring the community in, you can invite them to come in to just a typical learning day, you can invite them to come into a special day, but really I use this time that my students are learning for the for the community to support what they’re learning.
So for example if we’re working on decimals, that’s the easiest example I can give you, is I invite someone who deals with money. This could be the cash register person at Jewel Osco, it can be somebody at State Farm, accounting, it can be anyone that deals with money, it can be a parent who uses money to buy groceries. But having people come in, it emphasizes the importance not only to your students, but it allows your community to see inside your classroom. We work really hard at our jobs and people know that we work hard but they never get to see it, so why not share the excitement of learning that you’re already doing and your classroom, and just having having a witness now.
Next thing I really wanted emphasize, is taking your students knowledge and bringing it back out to your community. My students in my classroom do you themed units that are all sponsored by community members. So we do fairly well bringing people into our classrooms and then also making that connection between content and real world. The problem is, is that more often than not the students don’t get the opportunities to spread their knowledge back into community, and they’re studying content that your community may not know.
So anytime you’re able to share your students being the leaders and educating your community is so valuable. This can be done through creating a flyer that I get hung up, or creating a website that you push out, or my Tobin’s pizza unit my students make placemats and Tobin’s pizza uses them for a night, and those placemats teach their people who you who are sitting there eating eating how to do some sort of math concept.
So you can do this in anyway and more often than not I find people love to see student work and students love to share their hard work. They’ve worked this entire time building mastery in these concepts, so being able to share that out to your community that would benefit from the information is so valuable.
Alright. So, how can you do this? Let’s recap. Student motivation can absolutely be enhanced by community support, and the way you can do that is by bringing your community in and then pushing your student’s knowledge out. This allows there to be a back and forth message that we’re all able to learn from.
Learning has to have a purpose. It can’t be because there’s a test at the end of the week, it can’t be because because next year the mean teacher really wants you to know this information. It has to be it has to have purpose not only for the students before our community to support the students. Good luck.