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How can I help a student to love learning?

As an Education major, I've realize that many students deal with many issues and sometimes don't take priority in their own education. From dealing with family issues to mental issues, I understand that one of my main jobs is to make sure that students passes the class that I teach, but I want to more than get a student in and out of my classroom. I want students to see learning as a way to enhance their mindset, I want students to see the classroom as a way to express themselves, and I want students to see a better education as an option for a way to escape the dark side of reality. But, how? #education #student-development #teaching

The answer depends on the age group of students you are teaching, and hopefully you'll learn the answers as you gain more experience. I will said that I work with college professors and they sometimes get frustrated that they can't just teach the subject they are passionate about. The truth is if a student doesn't have their basic needs met (like consistent meals, a home, safety, and a support system) then it's hard to focus on anything else. All schools should have resources that you can give the student if they are struggling in any aspect of their life while in your classroom. Good luck with your students. Sabrina Pettis

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G. Mark’s Answer

I've heard all sorts of suggestions from "making it entertaining" to "find exciting examples of new ideas", and these are all pretty effective, in my experience. However, I've found that putting kids in teams and having them compete works really well. The danger point, however, is finding students that are shy or do not perform well in teams, so special attention must be paid to evening out everyone's opportunity to shine. This requires the instructor to spend extra time to find everyone's strong points.

The aspect of making learning exciting is especially fruitful today, because the internet provides us all with an absolutely incredible array of material. But since we don't yet have capable Virtual Assistants that can do all the legwork, it takes some effort to search the web for appropriate material to drive home any concepts. Still far easier than it was even ten years ago. And search engines today are much smarter, so typing in something as point-on as, "interesting examples of learning arithmetic", will yield lots of results. Now, it's still up to the teacher to filter these, since some results will be just useless. But there's always that pearl to be found. And that sort of searching is a lot of fun and educational for the teacher as well.

A final very critical aspect is to reduce or eliminate the downside of the student being incorrect. Make it very, very clear that "wrong" answers are opportunities for a discussion, NOT anything to be ashamed of or to try to avoid. It's also very important for the teacher to not be a phony -- telling a student how wonderful something they did is if you can't really make it believable. Kids know when you're patronizing them. So this requires effort as well. Again, lots of rewards there.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Amelia,

I agree with Bryant - what a wonderful, thoughtful question. There are many ways you can do this and it starts with you loving learning. I always wanted to be a teacher and I hope that enthusiasm has always shown through. I was a special ed and elementary teacher. Now I train teachers and while it might not be the focus of training, helping students to love learning is always the key within my training. To love learning can mean many things. We must first model that love of learning when we teach - we must be excited about whatever the lesson might be. We have to know our students so that we plan lessons that will be engaging. If a student is engaged - I think that's a sign of love of learning - then they will achieve success. I recently found this article that speaks to the connection of engagement and achievement: Using Positive Student Engagement to Increase Student Achievement -  https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED497205.pdf

I follow and use the research of Dr. Robert Marzano and suggest you read the following from him: Tips From Dr. Marzano: The Highly Engaged Classroom


Lastly, I like to use surveys to get to know my students and their interests. Then you can make sure lessons are engaging as they align with student likes; I can stock the classroom library with books on topics they find interesting; I can plan activities around ideas they've shown interest in. Check out this website for lots of ideas on surveys: http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/back-to-school-student-survey-questionnaire.shtml

Take care and good luck,


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Misty’s Answer

This is a great question and I commend you for wanting to be more than just a revolving classroom door in terms of dealing with students. This is going to make you a better educator.

In regards to your question, I would remind you to keep one thing in mind and that is that no everyone learns the same nor do they like the same subjects as much as others. With that being said, I would say first and foremost to know your students. Find a way to relate what you are trying to teach into something that is going to spark or coincide with a current interest they have. For example, if you know you have a kid who likes comic books but hates history, turn the historical figures into comic book characters. That may peek an interest. If you have a kid who hates math but loves sports, find a way to convert one to the other and vice versa. I personally had a teacher in school who had to do this for me based off of my dislike for the subject and my ADHD(before it was called that). I tell you now, I learned more from her and the time she took for me to not only help me but to get me interested. She is still one of my favorite teachers to this day.

Hope this helps.

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Bryant’s Answer

Hello Amelia,

What a great and challenging question. As a high school history teacher I always strived to achieve just that: I don’t need my students to love every topic we are learning about, but I do want them to feel empowered to challenge themselves and to love to strive for success.

My personal goal was that every single one of my students felt that they had a valued place in my class; that each student was essential to Mr. Gomer’s World History community. I think a word that stood out for me was “comfortable”. So many of my students had rarely ever felt comfortable in a classroom setting or a learning environment; felt comfortable in knowing that their learning was valued and that it mattered. So though I knew that not every student was going to ace every test, I strove to make sure that my classroom was a comfortable place to learn.

Once a a student feels valued as an individual and is comfortable to learn, that’s when I feel the real magic of Education starts to happen. It’s not a snap your fingers process. It takes time, relationship building, and earning your students trust; but if you can do that, you have set up your students to succeed for many years to come.



Bryant recommends the following next steps:

Take time (seconds) each class to check in with every single student