HOW TO HOLD KIDS’ ATTENTION?
If children are distracted they cannot study.
If kids are distracted, it means they are experiencing negative emotions.
If children are distracted probably they are not motivated enough to pay attention, listen and learn.
There are many techniques used by teachers to grab the attention of their students, for example tapping the pen on the chair, starting to hiss by pronouncing the ” S ‘or’ ‘SH’ ‘in different ways, shouting keywords like ” enough, silence, then? ‘.
When teachers do not get attention (or at least passive silence) following these calls, they start making threats or punishments:
- I write to your parents,
- Bring me your diary,
- Your behavior is unacceptable,
- Stand in the corner with face against the wall (yes, it is still used).
Probably few times we ask ourselves: Why are these kids distracted? How can I reach them and have a chat with them? How can I change their behaviors?
We believe that the key to change the behavior lies right here in the question itself. Kids often do not listen because something prevent them from doing so, and they are not always aware of what this specific reason is.
The task of each teacher should be exactly that: actively listening to the children, understanding them and act in order to have their blocks/hinders dissolved.
Distracted kids are definitely experiencing some kind of negative emotions. They might be bored, do not understand something, do not care at all, or the classmates make them think they are not smart enough or get laughed at, parents do not pay attention, feel like teachers dislike them, or would like to go to football training instead of performing school tasks, or get bad marks despite their best efforts. These are some of the most common examples, but we know that every child is unique and a new world to discover.
So how do we do it? It is actually very simple … asking!
If we fail to hold the attention of the kids after trying the usual techniques, we can try to ask the following questions:
- What are you thinking about?
- How are you feeling?
- What would you like to do?
Shifting attention to the emotional part implicitly creates deep involvement. Our task is to lead the pupil towards a positive emotion that will help them to concentrate better and study.
The other beneficial “side effect” of this behavior of the teacher that kids will feel listened to, not judged and ultimately it creates a good and emphatic relationship with children. All of this will help create a teacher-pupil bond based on mutual trust.
If children gather positive experience in class, they will soon grow to love being in that environment and they will enjoy studying.