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How to Secure Students' Attention



FACTS:

  1. All effective teachers are effective classroom managers.

  2. Even the most effective teachers work diligently to continually improve their classroom management skills.

  3. Not all teachers are effective classroom managers.

  4. Without effective management skills, effective teaching cannot occur.

  5. All teachers possess the ability to become effective, yet many fail to do so because they lack management skills. This leads us back to FACT 1.


Do you agree?


Think about this, if all teachers were effective classroom managers, discipline problems would be dramatically diminished and learning would improve instantly. As important as content knowledge may be, you cannot deny the fact that having effective classroom management is what defines a great teacher.


"You cannot teach any of the content effectively until you can manage the students."

Securing your students' attention is the first step in getting them to listen to the rest of what you have to say. Once you are able to secure their attention, you are set to deliver the lesson properly. What are some of the procedures that you implement in your classroom to get their attention in class?


Here are some techniques that you can use:

  • Set the tone - Before you implement any procedure, you need to tell your students that there will be times when you will need their undivided attention. Demonstrate what you will do and tell them how you want them to respond. Practise repeatedly and be consistent.

  • Ask the students in a normal tone of voice, "Raise your hand if you can hear me." Repeat a few times until everyone's hands are up. This takes a bit longer to accomplish but if done consistently, it will get quicker.

  • Keep your students aware of the time given on a single task by using an online timer. This way, they know when they are expected to end the work and mentally prepare for the next instruction to be given.

  • Use the 'Attention Grabbers' technique. You call out a phrase and the students stop what they are doing and shout out a response. For example, "All set. You bet!", "Hands on top. That means stop!", "1, 2, 3, eyes on me. 1, 2, 3, all eyes on you!" and many more. Get creative!

  • Using items like bells, wireless doorbells, wind chime or clapping system works just as well to grab students' attention.


As you accumulate teaching experience over the years, you will learn more techniques to secure students' attention and get better at managing the classroom.


Remember, whatever procedure you implement should have two components:

  1. Be consistent. Your procedures have to be consistently implemented. Students need to have a routine and they need to know what to expect next. Establish the system and continue doing it.

  2. Smile. You have to look happy while implementing the techniques. If you do so with a pleasant look on your face, you remove the allure of a power struggle. The moment you appear upset, they win, you lose and no procedure will work. You want them to feel respected and they will be willing to comply.

Once you can implement a consistent procedure for securing student attention, discipline problems will improve immediately. This means you can move forward in establishing better overall classroom management.


Teachers who are consistent have fewer students who are resistant!


#teachertips

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