In an ideal world, students are always focused on what their teachers are saying, absorbing all the lessons of the day. But in the real world, it’s quite a task to keep young kids focused, much less absorb their lessons.
Fortunately, there are ways to help your students be more focused that it won’t require you to learn a new teaching method. All you need to do is tweak your classroom design a little and make your lessons more interactive.
Involve the students
Science has shown that humans aren’t built to maintain their focus on something longer than an hour. One way to effectively grab your students’ attention is to involve them in your lecture. Say, you’re lecturing about ancient Roman history. You can ask some of your students to reenact the way Julius Caesar was killed by his own men. That way, your students won’t be sitting the whole time and even have a fun time learning about the lesson.
Involving your students in your lecture is more effective than just talking about the lesson. This is because it removes them from a sedentary position that is detrimental to maintaining concentration.
People are naturally visual-oriented. We tend to remember details more clearly if there are visual aids to help us. So, rather than just giving a lecture on tectonic plates, create visual aids for your students to understand how the ground underneath our feet moves. Or, show some video clips when you’re teaching kids to sew. It’s much easier to learn if they watch someone do it compared to listening to you tell them the step-by-step process.
Approach the students
When you always stay in front of the class near the board, you don’t know if the message you’re sending out gets to the farthest student from you. Also, by staying at the front of the class, you give some of your students a chance to check their phones or doodle on their notebooks instead of listening to you.
So, instead of staying in front, you should move around and even present your lecture while you’re in the middle of the room beside your students. This way, they’re always moving their heads around trying to track you, which can help them be more focused because they’re no longer sitting idly staring forward. Also, when you move around, you’re passively telling your students that you’re monitoring them.
Not only are people more able to remember details with visual aids, but we’re also effective in retaining information when we hear music being played. So, come up with a playlist for your class. While you’re lecturing about, say, the philosophy of Stoicism, they’ll be able to understand it better when they’re listening to upbeat music.
These are just some of the ways you can help your students improve their focus on their lessons. The key here is that you should avoid using traditional methods in teaching and rather, come up with creative ways to spark your students’ interest in your class.