Asking questions (…)
Here is another example of an engaging practice that, from a professional experience, fosters students’ SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT. By school engagement we mean students’ observable participation in school activities, sense of belonging to classmates and teachers, and valuing success in school-related goals.
It is implemented by: Teacher
It is directed at students aged: 6-8
Target group: Class-centered
Main subjects involved: All subjects, Cross-curricular
ICT involvement: no
Description of the practice: Meeting children everyday, taking an interest in their issues. Asking questions, taking time to talk with them. Valuing everyone as they are. Noone is ever to be laughed at, there are no wrong answers. Bringing out the strengths of all children, praising when a child does well or helps others. Everyone knows something. Everyone has to be able to work with everyone in the class.
Pairs are rarely allowed to decide for themselves. Even then, the criteria for selection are, for example, someone who runs to the checkpoint as fast as them, someone who reads a passage at the same pace as they do, or takes a partner who is not their best friend. There are also rotating groups at the lunch tables and desks, as determined by the teacher. When something happens, we resolve the issue in a way that no one loses face and everyone is treated equally. There is trust in the classroom that an adult has children’s best interests at heart. Instead of punishment, there are mostly shared decisions and a willingness to do things differently.
Appreciation of school work and doing one’s best. Students are encouraged to try, rewarded with praise for hard work, they learn that when they work hard they learn new things. Students are given tasks that are suitably interesting and functional. As a whole, this is a way of working in the classroom
Accessible to any student: yes
Meaningful participation for every student: yes
Why? There is a safe and good atmosphere in the classroom. Sometimes one may have to wait, one may be disappointed, but that’s life.
Support to the practice: Yes. From colleagues.