CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 24, 2014
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Teach Teachers to Create Magic

Christopher Emdin examines how educators often spend years of their lives and careers teaching not only their specialized fields, but in general academic engagement—yet they do both with the most un-engaging attitudes and lectures.

How many times have you found yourself daydreaming in class? Maybe you’ve noticed that you “zone out” during courses or doodle on a notebook. Most of these behaviors are a kind of distraction from the un-engaging material being thrown at you. It’s not that this material is boring or uninteresting; it’s that the way in which teachers are taught to teach may not be the most effective way to process or deliver new subjects.

How many of us have faked sick just to get out of going to school? Not all of us were called upon during end of the year presentations to accept awards for perfect attendance. I know I faked out of going to school more than once simply because I wasn’t engaged in the process of learning. My teachers weren’t actively engaging me; and it’s not the teacher’s fault. In fact, Emdin suggests that even the most amazing, most qualified educators can have trouble delivering material in a way that truly gets students thinking and participating.

So how can we teach our teachers to create magic in the classroom? How can we reignite the classroom and add imagination and engagement to education?

Watching powerful teachers and speakers and taking notes on what they can do is one way Emdin suggests teaching “the magic” to potential teachers. Body language is another aspect of powerful speaking that some educators lack, or never really pick up from others.

Have you ever had a truly engaging teacher or professor? What types of techniques do you use to engage students in your classroom?

Image courtesy of TED.com.

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