We frequently ask students to try harder.

It’s one of those things a teacher is supposed to do. But saying it, and saying it in such a way that it elicits the effort we want to see, are not the same thing.

Finding creative ways to get more from students than they are used to giving isn’t easy, but if you’re finding it’s been awhile since you gave it a good try, you might need to try harder.

Or smarter.

In this case, the smarter move might be to introduce creative moments into the time you set aside for planning. Those creative moments could come from a cool video you watch, or an interesting post you read, or an intriguing tool you try.

I put out a monthly newsletter from my nonprofit that includes freely available things to watch, read, or try. Here’s this month’s.

Whether it’s the Next Vista newsletter or something else, though, find what gives you different ideas, intrigues you about possibilities you hear described, or energizes you to think positively about a kid who hasn’t given you much that is positive recently.

Finding that which makes you more creative is important, and if you can’t find something after a few searches, well, you might need to try harder.

The reward of seeing some positive in a student who has been having trouble is worth the time you’ll put in, however many tries it requires.

And that’s one of the biggest reasons we become teachers.

image credit: Daisy Lake Rd, Whistler, BC by Randy Tarampi from Unsplash (license)

Categories: teaching advice

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