Reflecting on Student Engagement

I once read that teachers should aim to take one 'great' lesson a day, while the rest are 'routine' or follow the norm for the subject. This 'great' lesson might require extra planning, resources or an activity that is new and exciting for the learners. I believe that the idea was to ensure that children felt engaged at school and so that they had something to recount excitedly at the end of the day.

However, I have soon discovered that this method does not support reluctant learners, who are not engaged by the 'routine' lesson. I have found that some of my students have particular disdain for certain subjects and struggle to actively participate in these lessons. If I attempted to deliver a 'routine' lesson, I would lose their focus.

There is a myriad of reasons as to why these students are not engaged by "routine" lessons,  including the Tamaki Redevelopment. This development is very visible for our tamariki, who are confronted with the possibility of moving to a different school or area.  I overhear many discussions regarding this in my classroom and I understand that they are anxious to stay close to Whānau and friends.

I believe this will cause me to develop my practice and pedagogy more than if I could deliver routine sessions, I am finding that much more of my time has been taken up by lesson planning and preparing resources. Despite this extra effort, I do feel more confident in the classroom when I am more prepared and I love watching my students getting excited about our learning.


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