School is a place that many children don't want to be. If they could stay in bed all day, they would.
There is nothing new in any of this, of course, and generations of teachers have been faced with the difficult challenge of trying to educate students that are both unmotivated and unenthusiastic.
One great teaching hack that is a sure-fire way to breathe fresh enthusiasm into students is by teaming them up with groups of classmates for specific exercises. When push comes to shove, adding an air of competition is what will truly motivate them to sit down and learn from their textbooks.
Learning doesn't need to seem dull to kids:
The exercises themselves don't have to be overly difficult or study-intensive. The prime objective of this approach is to awaken an enthusiasm for learning among students who otherwise display apathy for every aspect of school.
Whether you're teaching mathematics, English, history, geography, science or a language, there are similar learning methods that can be applied to all subjects.
Take French, for example. Break the classroom into two teams and set every student the target of learning thirty words by the end of the week.
When Friday arrives, it's competition time. Every player on the team is equally important because every correct answer equates to one point for their team. Everybody is asked a word and they take their turn in rotation. Nobody knows what particular word they are going to be asked — that is solely down to the discretion of the teacher.
Tap into their competitive nature:
Children are extremely competitive and they will find the us-versus-them aspect of this game a lot of fun. This is what will encourage them to learn the words in their own time at home.
The game can easily be adapted to any subject. In maths, equations can be learned. In history, key dates. In English, encourage students to recite entire poems.
Students will enjoy the competitive nature of the game and, even if they lose, give them a reason to continue learning by setting a date for the next contest.
Pride is the greatest prize:
There doesn't even have to be a prize for the winning team, although that is of course down to the teacher. The students on the victorious team will simply be happy with the glory of winning.