The idea of student engagement is typically one-sided: educators and schools working together to increase student participation during the school day. But in reality, student engagement is a two-way street. It’s not just the ways in which we engage students, but also the amount of interest and excitement the students themselves have for their own learning. It’s important to get their attention but vital to grab their interest.

Opportunities for student interaction can significantly increase engagement. Some practical interaction ideas include:

Most of the ideas above are for interaction among all students. The more opportunities you provide for student interaction, the more engaged they will be. It’s easy to be a passive student when you know the teacher can (or will) only call on a handful of students each time input is wanted. When techniques such as ClassFlow polls or Kagan strategies are used, every student is accountable for a response. When these practices are used often, students can count on multiple opportunities to engage with content and with each other in a more meaningful way than just providing the answer.

You can also engage students by helping them build a sense of community both within the classroom and beyond. Emotionally engaging students can be done through:

  • Student-centered classroom setup and seating
  • Student and teacher advisory councils
  • Class volunteer projects
  • Interest bulletin boards

Engaging your students at an emotional level will help them to feel more committed and connected to each other, to their teacher, and to their school environment. Incorporating student input on classroom setup or through an advisory council are great ways to help students feel like they have a voice and that they matter when it comes to their own education.

There are many ways to continue engaging students. For more ideas, check out how Advanced Technologies Academy started with a flexible seating environment to get their students excited about and interested in their learning.

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