But, are they Engaged?

I love lesson planning, I really do. Lesson planning has got to be my favorite thing about teaching. I have always been organized and love to have a plan. It is comforting to know what is going to happen next. It is especially exciting when I sit down to plan and come up with an idea that I think will knock my students socks off. The excitement lingers until I get to school and the lesson bombs. Completely. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. Trust me when I tell you, it is not pretty.

There is nothing that compares to the feeling of coming up with a lesson that you think is just great and then standing in the middle of your classroom watching Johnny nod off in the corner and Suzy reach for her cell phone. What are they thinking? Do they really mean to tell me that they don’t find the contributions of the Muslim Empires interesting? At all?? I, as a history teacher, am completely offended.

In all seriousness, I get it. I understand that many students do not see the connection between history and their lives. They just don’t. Our job as teachers is to bridge that gap and show our students the relevance of our content area. In some cases this is easier said than done. But, it is our job nonetheless. The difference between the lessons that bomb and the lessons that get my students excited has to do with how engaged my students are in their own learning. The more “boring” my students think a topic will be, the more creative I have to get to come up with a lesson that will get them engaged. From my personal experience, I know this can be done. My goal for this blog is to share lessons that have worked in my classroom and, maybe, some that didn’t. I hope you will join the conversation and share some of your ideas too. As educators, I strongly believe that we are better together.

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