Even before this attention economy forced educators into competition with social media apps, streaming services, and 24-hour news cycles, connecting with students and maintaining their interest in courses were challenging enough already. As a student, I remember feeling overwhelming moments of complete disinterest and ambivalence, even in courses I had been looking forward to for semesters with professors I cherished. It was like everything else in my personal life and in the world could and should take priority over school. When I had my first position as a teaching assistant in 2013 and the shoe was on the other foot I was at a loss for what to do.
It’s been several years since I was a student or a TA but I still frequently hear about the challenges of connecting with students in such a noisy world. So, I’m wondering, what success have you all found in connecting and getting through to your students? What advice can you share with your fellow educators?
Setting the tone for the class will give the students the structure they need to focus and learn, set aside a few minutes to remind the class how they should enter the classroom. If they enter a calm and quiet classroom, it will set the tone and encourage them to keep to that noise level throughout the lesson. Iraqi Dinar Guru