3 Tips for Adding Value in the Classroom

If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops or trainings, or even been around me in general, you know I enjoy bringing value to the people I work with. As I bring value, I want the people around me to bring value to the people they work with too, making this growth exponential.

So, I want to bring you, my dear, amazing teacher friends, my top 3 tips for adding value in the classroom right now. Useful tips that will get (and keep) your students interested! Let’s get to it!

  1. Be more relevant. I know you might rather listen to your favorite 90s jams and stay in your bubble of endless Saved By The Bell episodes, but it’s super important to stay in tune with what’s going on in the world around us. Be intentional and pay attention to what your students are interested in. Stay up to date on current events and their culture. Know what’s happening NOW. And make sure you let your students know that you KNOW what’s going on, and that you care about the things that matter to them.
  2. Ask WHY in the classroom. This is, by far, the number one way to get students into whatever you’re doing. “Just because” or “Because I said so” doesn’t suffice as an acceptable answer for inquisitive minds. If you ask yourself the hard questions, so you can tell your students WHY they’re learning something, you’ll bring so much value to your classroom. As you prepare, ask yourself why you’re giving out a worksheet or specific assignment. Is it because it’s relevant and super amazing and it’s going to help your students learn the concept you’re trying to teach? Or do you just really need to stretch those legs and would love an excuse to walk to the copy room again because that’s where the coffee maker is? Are you just staying in a comfortable space? Maybe you need to re-think your approach. Maybe you need to stop and ask yourself WHY. Because your WHY is going to need to be out there and obvious if you want your students to “buy in” to what you’re trying to “sell” them.
  3. Try something new. It may be fun. You may even fail. Embrace it. Because, that’s where the growth comes. Your something new doesn’t even have to be about education. This newness can be about YOU and your soul and your own well-being and enjoyment. You can take a fun roadtrip, try out basketweaving, learn to fix a car, begin exercising, or cook a new meal. Just learn something new and fresh. Exist in a constant state of growing. And you’ll find that when you learn something new, and you own it and share about it, it makes you relatable. It gives you new ways to connect to your students. And ways to teach your curriculum. It gives you new stories to tell.

We all have a story, and we all have value to share. Within each of us is the power of influence. Be open, give of yourself freely, and let your own growth spur on growth in others.