Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!
Now that spring has sprung most elementary educators are either enjoying spring vacation from school or counting the days until spring break begins – our attention has turned to personal plans; for some that may include playing in or attending a sports event.
Speaking of sports, I’ve been watching the NCAA’s March Madness (I love the 3-point shots when the basketball silently swooshes through the net). Seeing how coaches relate to their teams got me thinking that some of the tools and tricks they use to command attention may work for teachers in a classroom setting.
Of course there’s a big difference between a group of college students who WANT to be on a sports team and a group of elementary students who HAVE to go to school. How can a teacher win by becoming a coach? Here’s how…
Coach, Teach, Reach: Don’t just post the schedule for the day on the board and assume that students will read it and be prepared to do good work.
Call your “team” together at the start of a day and briefly review the schedule aloud. You might even describe each activity as a “play of the day” and catch the attention of sports fans in your class. Get students excited about what you have planned by making personal connections with different subjects. For example, as you point to the time slot for reading that day, mention how Sam and Julia have improved their reading skills this week, becoming stronger members of your class’ reading “team.” Tell the whole class how much your appreciate their efforts to become good readers; you care.
Successful coaches command attention by forming strong emotional bonds with their players as they guide them with specific strategies to win games. Winning teachers do the same, generating excitement for the learning process to achieve academic goals.
Remember, you don’t have to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings.
Talk with you next week,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet