Students · Teachers

Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm (or, how karaoke tips apply to good teaching)

Please excuse my tardiness in posting a day late. I was working on getting a different post up last night, but between proctoring exams this week and attending multiple holiday parties, I fell asleep with a dog in my lap before I could publish it.

Now, I see that the daily prompt is “Enthusiasm,” so I’m just going to go for it.

Like good karaoke, much of good teaching is about entertaining. Or, at least, that’s how you get them interested. Then, just as you can’t expect people to be pleased if you look great but sound like nails on a chalkboard, nor can I expect my students to master concepts if I can get their attention but can’t hold it by explaining said concepts. Am I going too far with my karaoke metaphor yet? No? Okay.

One of the most important things to consider when signing up to sing a karaoke song is your audience. This is also true when planning a lesson. Just like you wouldn’t want to sing an obscure song to a room full of people who have never heard it before and can’t sing along (because, let’s be honest, that’s the real reason we watch karaoke in the first place), I can’t expect for a lesson to go over well if I don’t make it relevant to my students. Enthusiasm might get me in the door, but my students will tune right back out again unless I can explain the importance of what we are learning.

That being said, enthusiasm is quite valuable in schools due to its relative scarcity among teachers. Over the course of a typical school year, my energy and excitement levels ebb and flow. While this is natural for the human body, one of the most important things to my students is consistency. So while I sometimes regret my song choice at a bar upon realizing that it necessitates a drastic mood swing, I sing it, anyway, because I love to sing. While I sometimes feel physically and emotionally drained in my classroom, I teach through it, because I love my kids.

Enthusiasm for my job overall keeps me going. Enthusiasm from my students is the cherry on top.

What excites you about your job? Are you more enthusiastic about issues at home or at work? What tips do you have to keep going when that enthusiasm seems hard to find?

#FTK,

B T Bubble Sheet

via Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm

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