Students in ClassDespite meticulous efforts, a lot of teachers struggle with students who don’t want to participate in class. With the disengaged atmosphere, it gets tough for pupils to maximise their potential. The key to addressing this is to know what’s keeping your students from connecting with you and their peers. Here are possible reasons:

They don’t see the value of the lesson.

In most instances, students don’t realise the impact of what you’re teaching their personal lives. To clarify things though, the issue here isn’t whether or not the lesson is valuable, but rather, whether or not the lesson is appreciated. If your students don’t have a deep appreciation of the things you’re teaching, they’re less likely to engage in discussions.

So, what you should do differently moving forward, is to let them find relevance in your lessons. Before you start the class, encourage them to write freely on your classroom whiteboard or share with a classmate how they could use the lesson in their lives. Maybe it could serve to spark an interest in a field they’re not aware of or improve their skills. Whatever it is, let them realise that for themselves.

They’re not able to use their strengths.

Perhaps you’re only drawing on analytical or logical skills when teaching lessons. Remember that students have different strengths and when these are tapped, they grow more confident, and therefore motivated to engage in class.

So, vary your teaching style now and then to accommodate different student strengths. Organise a poster-making activity to appeal to your pupils’ creativity. Post their artwork in your classroom whiteboard or walls. Or, do a 5-minute fitness challenge to pique the interest of your kinaesthetic learners.

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They don’t feel safe in the classroom.

A space where students can be themselves and be accepted for who they are is vital for student engagement. If a pupil gets bullied, their confidence plummets, and they’re less likely to participate in class. You can address this by creating a ‘community zone’ in your classroom, where students can freely talk about their emotions and struggles. Invest in high-quality school furniture, like comfortable seating and moveable tables to build this section in your room.

The way your students participate in class can make or break their academic success. Make adjustments to your classroom space and teaching style to increase student engagement.