Without school spirit, students lose the drive to learn and teachers lose their passion. We can’t underestimate the value of keeping the ‘gees’ alive within our schools. Teachers and students already feel drained of the energy it takes living through a world-wide pandemic, so what can schools do to create a positive learning environment? The answer is simple – sow the seeds of excitement.
How can teachers bring back excitement?
Social distancing makes it challenging to engage with and entertain our learners, but not impossible. We have brain-stormed a couple of ideas that you can incorporate into your classroom and general schooling environment to keep your students enlivened.
Hold theme days
Giving your students something to look forward to can entirely change their schooling experience. As it is now, students expect to be constantly reminded of their safety and this can create anxiety towards being at school. Since many schools have already made it acceptable for learners to be wearing civvies, getting them to dress up as their favourite movie character, or like they’re from the 80s, can completely change the tone of a school day.
For many kids, what they most look forward to about school is the extra-mural activities. With schools unable to facilitate sports, drama, chess, and all the many other activities that happen after of school hours, kids are finding themselves bored and feeling the obvious loss of anything ‘fun’. However, we can still incorporate socially distant activities in between classes. The PE time slot is a perfect opportunity to get the kids active, from learning dances to playing ball games that require them to pass within their own spaces. If we take the time to plan, we can still make sure our learners have something to look forward to during classes, while ensuring their safety is being looked after.
Make use of games
Coming up with creative ways to teach lightens the mood within a classroom. Try incorporating games into your lessons where it’s possible. For example, if you’re teaching a younger grade, putting together individual packs at desks for the children to use when teaching counting or reading, creates some joy around learning again. Use games like bingo, or come up with your own games to bring some life into your teaching.
Allow for communication
Emotional stability makes way for a positive learning environment. It’s important we keep communication active between teachers and learners, allowing time for students to share their thoughts. The pandemic has prevented kids from engaging and being social, so allocating time within the classroom to talk can create an environment where students still feel close, rather than alone.
School spirit comes from positivity and excitement. If we aren’t actively establishing an environment that our students look forward to coming back into, the motivation to learn and invest in schooling is only going to plummet.
If we are willing to adjust our teaching patterns for the sake of ‘gees’, we can be the positivity that brings passion back into our schools.