There are a lot of reports and findings about gender disparity within the classroom. Girls are found to be lacking in STEM motivators while boys can be left behind in language and the arts, as shared in this study compilation from Time. When home environment, cultural background, and socioeconomic levels are also factored into the equation, even larger gaps in student achievement may occur.
The diversity and differences amongst our students make them the unique individuals that sit before us and make teaching them both exciting and at times challenging. Putting all differences aside, we’re focusing on 5 educational components to put at the top of the must do list when working with every student. A learning environment that’s rich in these opportunities for ALL students will put them on the pathway to a successful future.
Building a firm foundation of skills and a love of reading can open up so many opportunities for kids. Reading allows students to look into worlds and explore ideas that may only be available to them through text. When a love of reading exists, these explorations become an enjoyable hobby rather than a tedious chore. Continuing to bolster the love of reading or igniting the spark in a reluctant reader will make a huge difference in their educational journey.
Everyone loves a good mystery, and building that curious nature in our students is one way to keep them motivated. When students start to become the question askers and information seekers, they develop the intrinsic motivation to be lifelong learners. The questions we develop and utilize within our instruction also have a huge impact on the level of student engagement that occurs. When questioning is at the forefront of the classroom environment, everyone reaps the rewards.
Regardless of gender, that first initial bite from the STEM learning bug is a way to open innumerable doors in students’ futures. From those first introductions with toys and activities to creating captivating higher-level projects that incorporate STEM components, time spent on these endeavors will have a huge payoff as students advance. A variety of activities and projects abound and allow for the opportunity to engage all students whether their interests are sparkly or destructive.
A little kindness goes a long way and can have a ripple effect of impact. As we lead by example with kindness and have conversations to build empathy, students are influenced by both our actions and words. As they carry these skills and traits beyond the classroom, they influence the world around them too. Kindness isn’t just something that brightens someone else’s day; it’s something that resounds in everything we do.
- Facing Challenges
No matter how sheltered of a life kids may lead, challenges are going to arise. Ensuring that students are well equipped to face said challenges is imperative. It’s important to teach students how to work through challenges and conflicts that involve others. It’s equally important to equip them with the strategies and skills to carry a positive mindset when dealing with the challenges that come about in learning and life in general. By presenting them with difficult tasks in the classroom, we are giving them the opportunity to work through the frustrations and emotions associated with a struggle in a comfort zone that offers support and encouragement.
No matter what the subject, integrating these 5 fundamental elements is something every student needs. While the time spent in our classrooms is important, the skills, strategies, and mindset that students take out into the world and apply to their future endeavors is where the biggest impacts are made. Make sure ALL learners are prepared for the best future possible.