By Teachers, For Teachers
Passion is what drives us to want to learn more. When we are really passionate about something, we are motivated and engaged by it. When students are passionately engaged in their learning, they feel empowered and in control. They’re better able to connect information, because they are enthusiastic about what they are learning. In today’s classrooms, many teachers strive to find their students passion for learning. They do so because they know that when their students are passionately engaged, they’ll feel more connected to what they are learning, as well as have a better understanding.
Here are a few teaching strategies to help you promote passion-based learning in your classroom.
One of the best ways that you can promote passion in your classroom is to use teaching strategies that share what you’re passionate about. As you know, passion is contagious, and when your students see how excited and driven you are about what you love, then they’ll want that feeling too. Share what makes you passionate. If you love health and wellness, then use your teaching strategies to share that with your students. Talk about the healthy foods you love or the exercise classes that you take. Talk about the books you are reading on the topic or the latest trends in health and wellness. By sharing what you love, you can help spark excitement for what students love.
Everyone is passionate about something, but they don’t always know what that is. Sometimes, you have to help them find it. Ask students to think about what they love to do. Tell them that whatever energy they put into outside of the classroom usually means that they are passionate about it. Then ask them if they had free time to do whatever they wanted to do what would that be. These simple questions are a great start when searching for what you’re passionate about. Students may find they love art or reading about history. They may find they’re passionate about sports or enjoy being around animals. Once they find their passion, now it’s time to pursue it.
Once students have found their passion, it’s important to give them time to pursue it. There are several ways that you can do this. First, you can encourage students to share their passion with others because they may find that others share the same passion as them. Second, you can implement a “Genius Hour” -- this is where students are given an hour each week to explore their passion in class any way they wish. This concept is based on the notion that if you spend time exploring your own passions, you will be more invested in what you are doing. Lastly, you can help students find resources that will help to exercise their passions. For example, if students are passionate about sports, you can help them look into a sports team to join in school, or if they are passionate about art, you can show them where to take an art class after school. The more time they spend pursuing their passion, the more engaged they will be.
Another great way to promote passion-based learning in the classroom is to have others share what they are passionate about. You can invite expert speakers into the classroom or show them a TED talk on YouTube. This is one of the best ways that you can attract an audience. Information is best communicated when you hear it from someone in person and from someone who has been through it. Hearing someone tell their story in their own words is a great way to emotionally connect with students. When the person is passionate and excited about the topic they are speaking of, the students will be better able to relate to it.
Let students take control and you will see them flourish. When students believe that they have control over their own learning, they will value it that much more. Give them more choices when it comes to what and how they will learn. When you do this, you’ll get a great idea on what drives your students. For example, if the majority of the students like sports and want to learn more about them, then you know that you need to incorporate sports somehow into your lessons.
Children are better at remembering information when they are emotionally attached to it. You can empower students to take control over their own learning by finding their passion, giving them time to pursue it, and allowing them to share what it with others. While students’ passions may develop or change over time, it’s up to you to help them set aside time to allow those passions to flourish. Helping your students to think passionately about their interests is a great way to revolutionize their learning.
How do you promote passion to empower your students? Do you have any teaching strategies or thoughts that you would like to share? Please feel free to leave your comments in the section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.