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Five Ways to Free a Child’s Potential

Getting kids to open up to learning can be a challenge. Of course we all have those select few students who hang on our every word and anxiously await new knowledge on a daily basis, but let's face it, this is the exception and definitely not the rule. All students can and do learn of course, but how can we free their potential and maximize that learning? What are some of the steps we can take to help our students achieve success? Click read more to discover 5 fabulous ways to unlock a child's potential.


Can We Teachers Help Maximize Learning by What We Do?

We maximize learning every day using various teaching strategies, techniques, lesson plans, media and classroom management. But, what are some of the best ways to maximize this learning on a daily basis?

1.Don't be so quick to answer their questions. We teachers are "fixers". We always want to jump right in to fix any problems that our students are having. After all, it would be terrible for a student to go home and say to their parents, "my teacher wouldn't help me," right? No, not always. Sometimes we can help our students the most by not helping them.

Learning to think critically and for themselves is a vital skill that we teachers can give to our students. If we are always ready with the answer on HOW to do an assignment or what the answer is, how will our students be able to figure something out when we are not there standing over them?

2.Use questioning techniques that will draw students to their own logical answers. There are several questioning skills that will effectively help students to be better problem solvers that will eventually teach them how to ask themselves these questions before they raise their hands.

3.Empower students to take ownership in their learning. Making coursework relevant to students daily life will add meaning and allow them to take possession of what they are learning and how they learn.  There are two ways we all learn: one by someone teaching us, and two by taking initaitve to learn something on our own. You have seen students look up something on YouTube or "Google it" to find an answer; even if it was as simple as finding out more about their favorite video game, but they have taken the initiative to find out the answer to something.This is so important.

4. Provide ways for students to feel proud about their success.When students have earned a "win", they will feel good about themselves. Many students will brag about their success. That's ok. They will be inspired to succeed again. This will unlock even more potential.

5. Their success is your success. That may sound selfish that you are getting something out of all this, too. After all, aren't teachers in the profession because they want to help build great citizenship?Yes, to some extent this is true, but really we all have a need to succeed. By allowing your students room to unlock their potential and succeed, you will feel proud of a job well done.

Karen is a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher with a Masters in Education and an emphasis in Reading Curriculum and Instruction.

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